Channel: Business Insider

'Big Short' investor Danny Moses says meme stocks remind him of the dot-com bubble, slams the Fed, and calls out Archegos and Greensill in a new interview. Here are the 16 best quotes.

Danny Moses
Danny Moses.
  • Danny Moses compared the hype around meme stocks to the dot-com bubble.
  • "The Big Short" investor called for the Fed to pump less money into markets.
  • Moses said investors can capitalize on the current volatility to score big returns.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Veteran investor Danny Moses compared the stock-market boom to the dot-com bubble, underscored the dangers of excessive leverage and liquidity, and called for the Federal Reserve to temper its stimulus efforts in a recent RealVision interview.

Moses is best known as Steve Eisman's former head trader at FrontPoint Partners. He was profiled in "The Big Short," author Michael Lewis' book about the mid-2000s housing bubble and the contrarians who saw the crash coming. Eisman was portrayed by Steve Carell in the movie adaptation.

Moses now runs an investment fund called Moses Ventures, and co-hosts a podcast called "On The Tape." His latest warnings echo those of Michael Burry, another investor featured in "The Big Short."

Here are Moses' 16 best quotes, lightly edited and condensed for clarity:

1. "When I dig into the plumbing of a company, I never believe anything that a CEO says. They may be 99% telling the truth, but we always take it with a little bit of a grain of salt and then dig a little deeper."

2. "This market really reminds me of 1999-2000 and the meme stocks back then. There's really no difference between Yahoo chatrooms and Wall Street Bets and Reddit. It's really very similar - adding a dotcom back then or saying you're in crypto now."

3. "We're in a bull market, but it does not feel that way when you see all the underlying volatility in individual stocks."

4. "No one ever asks questions when a stock's going up." - commenting on ViacomCBS's stock price surging from under $12 to over $100 within 12 months as Bill Hwang's Archegos Capitalplowed billions of dollars into it.

5. "The average age of a Robinhood trader is 31 years old. They were 17 during the financial crisis, which means they've only known the Fed having their back. This is a liquidity-driven market, period. Money is still looking for a home, and it will find its way into whatever is the flavor of the day. That's a very dangerous, unsustainable model over the long term."

6. "I think the old-school ways - reading the 10-Ks and 10-Qs, the bottom-up analysis to take advantage of near-term displacement in stocks or near-term volatility that may be misinterpreted over the long haul - are how you really make your money over time. Even with the market as high as it is, this is the most potential alpha I have seen, both on the long and particularly on the short side here."

7. "Money's free right now. Risk-taking is at an all-time high. That's always going to come with problems over time. You're seeing pockets of blowups, whether it's Greensill, Archegos, whatever it might be. You're going to see a lot more of these things keep happening because this is what the Fed wanted. Their objective is to get everybody out on the risk curve, and out there lending, and out there buying, and doing those things."

8. "We're starting to see very, very loose underwriting in the consumer area because banks are freeing up the cash they were hoarding in anticipation of bad loans. Consumer credit is going to look the greatest it ever has in history. We're still in this euphoric phase where no one's going to worry about it yet. Whether there's going to be a CDO-esque product that blows up over time or something related to mortgages, I'm sure we'll get there eventually. But this is just the Wild, Wild West."

9. "We're going to see companies, we're going to see banks, we're going to see things fail that are outside of the control of the Fed. They came about because of the ability to leverage, and what people believe is that the Fed always has your back. Things will revert to the mean, and that's going to be painful. I just don't know when that's going to be."

10. "It's the leverage that kills the system. If things weren't levered, there would never be a systemic issue in the marketplace. People would never have a problem losing more than what they have put up. It's all related to liquidity. When there's this much liquidity, crazy things can happen."

11. "You couldn't justify a home in Orange County going from $200,000 to $600,000 from 2003 to 2005, because you know that's not sustainable over time. But I hear people talking about stocks now and creating the narrative or the story that somehow matches the valuation. 'Oh no, they're going to spin out this. Oh no, they're getting into bitcoin. They're mining, they're doing this, they're doing that.' As soon as that story ends, where do you buy it? Where do you buy an EV company that SPAC'd that promises to have revenue in 2025? You're starting to see disenchantment in the market now on the retail side."

12. "Maybe if WeWork had made it public, it would be a $200 billion company. Because people are like, 'Wow, I get it. This story is so interesting.' But at the time, logic tells if you were looking at WeWork's market cap, it was bigger than all of the REITs of the office-property companies put together. It's almost like you say to yourself, 'Oh, that was obvious that WeWork would blow up.'"

13. "Those type of things happen when money is free, no one's watching, regulations are pulled back, and people give them a rope. Look what they can do to themselves, it's really scary." - discussing the Credit Suisse and Greensill Capital fiasco.

14. "What's really bothering me right now is the Fed's inability to wean off of $120 billion a month in purchases - $80 billion in treasuries and $40 billion in mortgage-backed securities. What are we so afraid of? How dangerous is it right now that you can't even start to even indicate that you're going to stop that? You look at our debt approaching $30 trillion, and we're trying to put together an infrastructure bill that needs funding, and you're going to have higher taxes. Somewhere along the line, we're going to pay the piper for all this stuff we're doing."

15. "It's scary, because every time we've seen the Fed try to pull back, even indicate anything, we've seen rates move higher, which widens credit spreads, which sends stocks lower, and then there's backtracking. 'No, no, we're kidding. We didn't mean that.'"

16. "There's so many programs going on right now - forget about stimmy checks and that stuff, that's fine. But come on, the Fed, it's time to pull back a little bit. It's too much. At some point, they might lose control."

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The 6 best online LSAT prep courses, including a free option

the best LSAT prep services 4x3
  • The LSAT tests skills needed in law school, from logical reasoning to persuasive writing.
  • The best online LSAT prep courses can cost anywhere from $0 to $2,247, all with different features.
  • We outlined 6 of the best LSAT programs below, comparing cost, score-increase guarantees, and more.

The LSAT is designed to assess the skills needed most to succeed in law school, including critical reading, analytical reasoning, logical reasoning, and persuasive writing skills. The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) - which creates and administers the LSAT - uses data from a survey of faculty at about 90 ABA-approved law schools to determine the most impactful skills and then format each year's LSAT to best measure them.

As a result, spending 20 hours per week re-learning algebra or interpreting graphs would be a poor use of a prospective law student's time. Instead, it's best spent strengthening deductive and inductive reasoning skills as well as learning how to organize evidence into a cogent written argument.

Prospective law students can find free LSAT preparation tools online, or pay up to $2,247 for a course that provides structure and advantages such as one-on-one tutoring and support from top LSAT scorers. Most programs, like The Princeton Review and LSAT Max, offer money-back guarantees tied to a certain score improvement (with conditions attached).

LSAT prep sites chart (Updated Dec 2020)

The prep course you choose will depend upon variables such as budget, schedule, and what your starting score and goal score are. Below, you can find a few of the most popular LSAT prep options available online, and a short rundown of what you can expect to pay and receive from each.

Read on to learn about the best LSAT prep programs:

Princeton Review
Princeton Review

Price range: $800 - $1,800

Pros: Score-increase guarantee; 8,000 LSAT practice questions, and six proctored practice tests

Cons: No app; private tutoring can be expensive

The Princeton Review offers a self-paced online course for $799, a fundamentals course with 30 hours of classroom time for $1,049 (originally $1,099), and an LSAT 165+ course for $1,599 (originally $1,699). You can also opt for private LSAT tutoring for $1,800.

The most popular, according to the company, is the LSAT 165+, which guarantees you (under certain conditions) an LSAT score of 165, which should make you competitive for a top 25 law school. LSAT 165+ comes with 84 hours of instruction by an LSAT expert, 150 hours of online drills and explanations, six full-length practice LSAT tests, and more than 8,000 LSAT exam-style questions. You can find out more info here.


Price range: $600 - $1,500

Pros: Score-increase guarantee; 90 prep tests; weekly office hours for live Q&As; 24/7 email and phone support, and there's an app

Cons: Minimal explanations of practice test questions outside of Q&As

LSAT Max offers three programs with more than 100 hours of video detailing test-taking strategies and techniques. Additionally, students have access to weekly office hours, four textbooks, and analytics to determine weaknesses and maximize prep time. Lifetime access, a money-back guarantee of a higher score for two of the programs, and the ability to simulate an actual digital LSAT test also help set this program apart. 

Its three program tiers are LSAT Max 60 for $595, which lasts 60 days; LSATMax 180, which runs $995 and lasts for 180 days; and LSATMax 365 for $1,400 that gives you year-long access. Each comes with one free hour of private tutoring, and the latter two also include a higher score guarantee. 

LSAT courses Blueprint

Price range: $700 - $1,500

Pros: Score-increase guarantee; 85 full-length practice exams; personalized study plans, and online office hours 6 days per week

Cons: No app; tutoring can be expensive

Blueprint offers three options for its LSAT program: a three-month plan for $699 or $599 with promo code FINAL100 ($747 total if you pay by month rather than a one-time payment), a six-month plan for $999 or $799 with promo code FINAL200 ($1,494 total if you pay by month), and a 12-month plan for $1,499 (or $2,988 if you pay by month). The six- and 12-month plans also come with score-increase guarantees. 

Students receive 100+ hours of instruction between video lessons and live online office hours, plus a study plan, adaptive homework, and over 8,500 real LSAT questions with explanations.

Khan Academy
Khan Academy LSAT prep

Price range: Free

Pros: Free; customized lesson plan, and there's an app available

Cons: No money-back guarantee; few exams and questions; no score increase guarantee, and no reliable way to get questions answered

For those on a tight budget, Khan Academy, founded to bring education to anyone with internet access, has an entirely free prep program. The company reportedly collaborated with the makers of the LSAT to offer students access to thousands of official practice questions from real tests.

Students can complete problem sets, timed practice tests, instructional videos, as well as get access to strategies, tips, and more. The program is also designed to help you determine your strengths and weaknesses in order to create a custom practice plan that takes your goal score, schedule, and starting skill strengths into account.

Magoosh LSAT Prep

Price range: $279 - $2,247

Pros: Score-increase guarantee; email assistance; relatively affordable; free trial available, and there's an app available

Cons: No tutoring; fewer practice questions than other options

Magoosh's premium LSAT plan —which comes with a guarantee of an LSAT score increase of five points — gets you eight full tests, more than 7,000 LSAT questions with video explanations, 200 Logic Game explanations, timed practice tests, and email assistance from tutors. 

Magoosh offers two LSAT premium options: The one-month program, which costs $279 ($180 plus $99 for a year of LSAT Prep Plus), and the year-long version for $2,247 (currently discounted for $299 total). The latter is essentially the same as the one-month premium version but offers longer access to materials. 

LSAT courses Kaplan

Price range: $700 - $1,200 

Pros: Score-increase guarantee; varied learning materials; many LSAT questions; interaction from instructors, and there's an app

Cons: Fewer hours of instruction; classes and tutoring can be expensive, and class sizes may be larger

Kaplan offers three currently discounted LSAT programs: self-paced for $700 (originally $799), and a live online lecture for $1200 (originally $1,299). 

Kaplan's live online courses include eight four-hour sessions, two proctored practice exams, more than 60 LSAT exams with self-proctoring tools, and LSAT prep books. With an upgrade to Kaplan's Live Online PLUS, you also get three hours of one-on-one coaching.

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Americans are the most worried about inflation they've been in 7 years

In this Sept. 15, 2020 file photo, passers-by examine a storefront window, in Boston's fashionable Newbury Street shopping district.
  • Expectations for one-year and three-year inflation rose to 7-year highs in a Fed survey.
  • Inflation expectations are a key indicator for price growth and are closely watched by economists.
  • The data underscore forecasts of reopening and stimulus driving a spending boom throughout 2021.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Americans grew more concerned about rising prices in March as vaccination accelerated and the economy slowly reopened.

The median expectation for one-year inflation climbed to 3.2% from 3.1% last month, according to a survey conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The estimate for three-year inflation crept to 3.1% from 3%. Both expectations now sit at their highest levels since mid-2014, signaling Americans are gearing up for the recovery to drive a sharp rise in prices.

Within the gauge, expectations for gas and rent inflation rose to record highs of 9.9% and 9.3%, respectively. The median estimates for medical care and college tuition inflation declined slightly. Median year-ahead expectations for home prices rose to record 4.8% growth from 4%, underscoring the supply-demand imbalance roiling the US housing market.

On one hand, inflation expectations are just that: expectations. They are subject to change and have overshot real inflation for much of the past decade.

Yet fears of stronger inflation are a somewhat self-fulfilling prophecy. Businesses tend to lift prices and workers demand higher wages when the country sees stronger inflation on the horizon. The dynamic makes inflation expectations a key forward-looking indicator for price growth.

The March readings mirror commentary from the Fed, Wall Street, and policymakers as the country nears the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. Reopening from harsh lockdowns is expected to revive spending after months of weaker activity. Stimulus passed throughout the pandemic also left Americans with massive savings set to be at least partially deployed as the US enters a new normal.

Some economists have raised concerns over the forecasted bounce in inflation, saying Democrats' $1.9 trillion stimulus plan passed in March risks runaway price growth and a new financial crisis. Others, including Fed Chair Jerome Powell, are less worried. They note that inflation consistently undershot the Fed's 2% target for decades, and those downward pressures should drag price growth back toward 2% after its temporary jump.

"It is more likely that what happens in the next year or so is going to amount to prices moving up, but not staying up. And certainly not staying up to the point where they would move inflation expectations above 2%," Powell said in March, adding the Fed will "be patient" in waiting for inflation to drive a pullback for its accommodative monetary policy.

Members of the Biden administration's Council of Economic Advisors made similar claims in a Monday blog post. Pent-up demand and supply-chain disruptions will lift inflation, but signals from the bond market show investors preparing for a transitory increase. Long-term price growth will likely fade to the Fed's target as actual inflation lands in line with more modest expectations, economists Jared Bernstein and Ernie Tedeschi said.

"An increase in inflation expectations from an abnormally low level is a welcome development. But inflation expectations must be carefully monitored to distinguish between the hotter but sustainable scenario versus true overheating," they added.

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Goldman Sachs has been going through a huge transformation under CEO David Solomon

Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon
Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon.

Goldman Sachs has been going through some massive changes under CEO David Solomon.

It's taken big steps involving transparency and inclusion to change up its culture. After its first-ever investor day in early 2020, the firm is looking to execute on targets including multi-year cost-cutting plans. And it's making big pushes into wealth management and consumer banking.

Solomon, who took the reins as CEO in 2018, has also looked to reduce the number of partners overall at the firm in order to make the status more elite and exclusive. In 2018, there were 484 partners. But as of the latest announcement of the newest partner additions, Goldman's total partners amounted to fewer than 440.

Goldman Sachs is set to report first-quarter earnings on Wednesday, April 14.

Who are the top leaders at Goldman?

Goldman Sachs org chart 2x1

Goldman in September shuffled its setup, creating a new standalone consumer division that includes its Marcus lending unit as well as its wealth-management and private-banking businesses.

Strategy chief Stephanie Cohen and Tucker York, the head of the private-wealth business, were tapped to colead the new consumer and wealth management division and the changes went into effect on Jan. 1.

The new setup matches the way Goldman reports financial results, a change the firm made in 2019 to better align with how Solomon wanted investors to think about the firm. Goldman now has four divisions: consumer and wealth management, asset management, investment banking, and global markets.

Read more:

The lastest news on Goldman's Marcus

Goldman Sachs has built its consumer-banking arm into a $1 billion business over the past five years.

But it's seen a wave of recent departures including the exits of top Marcus bosses Omer Ismail and David Stark.

Insiders explained how Goldman Sachs' hard-charging culture had contributed to exhaustion and high turnover within Marcus, and a Goldman spokesperson told us that the firm is eyeing beefing up the ranks by hiring some 200 to 300 new engineers.

Read more:

Junior bankers are feeling the heat

A grueling year of increased demands while working from home has some Goldman Sachs junior talent reaching a breaking point.

In March, a presentation created by 13 analysts within the firm's investment bank grabbed headlines. Meanwhile, the bank is prepping it's latest cohort of young bankers for a return to in-person work.

Read more:


When Goldman announced its latest class of partners, one group was particularly well-represented on the list. Seven of the 19 investment bankers elevated to partner status came from the bank's powerhouse technology, media, and telecommunications group.

The group has also seen some shakeups in recent months. Goldman Sachs veteran Gregg Lemkau, co-head of the firm's investment banking division since 2017 and a member of Goldman's management committee, left at the end of 2020. Instacart has tapped Nick Giovanni, Goldman Sachs' head of the global technology, media and telecom group, to be its CFO. And in September, Goldman Sachs named new leadership in its M&A group.

Read more:

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CDC director offered a solution to the Michigan COVID-19 surge: 'Shut things down'

Rochelle Walensky
President-elect Joe Biden has nominated Dr. Rochelle Walensky to head up the CDC.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Rochelle Walensky said Michigan should put coronavirus restrictions back in place to stop the spread of COVID-19.

"Really what we need to do in those situations is shut things down," Walensky said during a press briefing on Monday. "I think if we tried to vaccinate our way out of what is happening in Michigan, we will be disappointed that it took so long for the vaccine to work - to actually have the impact."

Michigan has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in recent weeks. Some, such as former Food and Drug Administration head Scott Gottlieb, have said the Biden administration should send more vaccines to the state in response.

But Walensky said on Monday that additional vaccines won't be as effective as reducing transmission.

"The answer to that is to really close things down, to go back to our basics, to go back to where we were last spring, last summer, and to shut things down, to flatten the curve, to decrease contact with one another, to test to the extent that we have available, to contact trace," Walensky added.

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Tesla will surge 58% from current levels with improved battery supply set to drive an $8 billion energy business, Canaccord says

Tesla Solar Battery
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, with a Powerpack unit the background unveils suit of batteries for homes, businesses, and utilities at Tesla Design Studio April 30, 2015 in Hawthorne, California
  • Tesla could surge 58% from current levels as it shifts focus to its energy storage business, Canaccord Genuity analyst Jed Dorsheimer said in a Monday note.
  • The Wall Street firm upgraded Tesla to Buy and assigned a $1,071 price target, according to the note.
  • "Tesla is rapidly creating an Apple-esque ecosystem of energy products... to become the brand in energy storage," Dorsheimer said.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

The long-term potential of Tesla's budding energy storage business won over a Wall Street analyst on Monday, with Canaccord Genuity upgrading the electric vehicle manufacturer to Buy in a Monday note.

Canaccord analyst Jed Dorsheimer assigned a $1,071 price target to Tesla, representing potential upside of 58% from Friday's close, according to the note.

"Tesla's focus on first-principle engineering we believe will radically change the battery market, enabling the company to further the lead in [battery electric vehicles] and expand into the solar and home energy markets with its Powerwall products," Dorsheimer explained.

Tesla is constrained right now as supply constraints impact its battery production, but those pressures should be alleviated in 2022 as production comes online for Tesla's Giga factories in Nevada, Texas and Berlin, the note said.

"Ample battery supply will allow Tesla to meet its new aggressive Powerwall campaign, as well as Powerpack, and Megapack in full scale, often paired with solar installations," Dorsheimer said.

That should accelerate Tesla's growth in its energy generation and storage business, which could reach $8 billion in annual revenues by 2025 and have better gross margins than its electric vehicle business, according to the note.

Tesla's first mover advantage in battery technology, combined with a branded ecosystem of energy products that is "Apple-esque," means the company can become "The Brand" in energy storage.

"Tesla's successful transition to mass-market EVs and strong investments in battery manufacturing expertise and production capacity give us confidence they will attack and conquer another trillion-dollar market in energy generation and storage," Dorsheimer concluded.

Shares of Tesla jumped as much as 4% in Monday trades.

Read more: Goldman Sachs names 40 stocks to buy before they surge to meet its higher price targets - including 5 with more than 50% upside

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Markets are at risk of an acceleration of growth and inflation that the Fed and economists are 'totally unprepared' for, Bank of America says

walmart shopper grocery
Inflation and retail sales data are on deck this week.
  • Inflation and retail sales figures due this week will likely show big headline jumps as the US economy accelerates.
  • For investors, there's a risk that the Fed and economists are underestimating the magnitude of economic growth and inflation, said Bank of America.
  • BofA reiterated its underweight view of investment-grade credit.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The markets are at risk of inflation on the back of a swift economic recovery that's building in the US economy, with Bank of America warning investors ahead of a wave of new economic data this week.

"...In our view, the risk is investors are going to experience an acceleration in economic growth and inflation of a magnitude economists and the Fed are totally unprepared for," said Hans Mikkelsen, head of high-grade credit strategy at Bank of America, in the note. Bank of America reiterated an underweight stance on investment-grade credit.

Investors this week will receive data on consumer prices and retail sales, providing a fresher picture of inflation and how well consumers fared last month against a backdrop of more stimulus money coming from the US government and the ramp-up in vaccinations against coronavirus. Consumer spending accounts for about a third of the country's economic activity.

The US government on a fiscal basis has unleashed $5 trillion in financial aid to help soften the blow from the pandemic. The combination of vaccines and stimulus has stoked expectations for the US economy to continue bouncing back from the virus-fueled recession that left it to contract by 3.5% in 2020.

The consumer price index due Tuesday may show a jump in headline inflation to 2.5% and in core inflation to 1.6% in March, according to an Econoday consensus estimate. Headline inflation in March 2020 was 1.5%. On Thursday, retail sales excluding automobiles in March are expected to increase +4.4% year-over-year, said BofA. However, it said its aggregated credit and debit card data supports its economist's forecast of an "impressive +11.4%" increase.

Consensus expectations for GDP growth started 2021 at a rate of 3.9% and have since risen to 5.8%, "but our economists are now at 7% and it feels like the relevant risk is they too are low," said Mikkelsen.

"While markets are ahead of rates risk implied by consensus, we think they are still far from reflecting reality of what is about to happen. The Fed keeps pushing the view they have ample time to signal monetary policy tightening to markets. But in our view, the reality is markets will not wait for the Fed," BofA added.

The S&P 500 Investment Grade Corporate Bond index has lost about 4% so far this year, driven down alongside a selloff in Treasury bonds as investors have been seeking riskier investments as the US economy improves. As bond fall, an increase in their yields indicates rising borrowing costs.

The Federal Reserve has signaled it will keep its benchmark interest rates near zero until 2024 while investors have been pricing in Fed rate hikes to start by the earliest in late 2022.

"We think the risk of a rates shock will only grow over time and peak in the late Spring/Summer period, as we approach herd immunity and return to normal," said Mikkelsen.

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Google Docs and other Google Drive service issues were resolved

Google Drive app on smartphone

Google said it has resolved an issue that left some users unable to access Google Drive or create new Google Docs, Sheets, and other files.

At 12:20 p.m. ET, the company reported the issues had been resolved and users who were still seeing error messages should refresh their browser.

"We resolved an issue with creating new and copying existing Google Docs, Slides and Sheets within Google Workspace and Google Workspace for Education accounts," a Google spokesperson told Insider.

Problems started around 9:36 a.m. ET and impacted users in the US, UK, and China, as well as several other countries.

While it is unknown how many users were impacted, over 6,000 Google users reported issues with Google Drive on Monday morning, according to DownDetector. At the time, the company said it was in the process of investigating issues with its products.

"Hi there. We are aware of a service disruption and are working right now to resolve it," @googledrive tweeted. "We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience. Stay updated by following the Apps Status Dashboard: http://goo.gl/NOZTZ. Thanks!"

Affected users were able to access their Google Drive, but were seeing error messages, according to Google's Workplace Status Dashboard. The error messages asked users to reload the page.

On Google Docs and Google Sheets, some users were not able to access or create new documents and spreadsheets. Google Slides was also showing error messages.

Many users took to Twitter to report the problem.

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Psaki says Biden 'does not spend his time tweeting conspiracy theories' after a GOP senator criticized the president's social-media use

white house press sec jen psaki
White House press secretary Jen Psaki.
  • White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Monday defended Biden's communication style.
  • Biden "does not spend his time tweeting conspiracy theories," Psaki said.
  • The comments came after a GOP senator criticized Biden's use of social media.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Monday defended President Joe Biden's communication style after a Republican senator used a Politico article about the president's limited social-media use to question Biden's leadership ability.

"I can confirm that the president of the United States does not spend his time tweeting conspiracy theories," Psaki told reporters during a news conference, in an apparent jab at former President Donald Trump's Twitter habits before the social-media platform permanently suspended his account after the Capitol riot on January 6.

Psaki's comments were in response to GOP Sen. John Cornyn after he tweeted excerpts from a Politico article that called Biden's tweets "unimaginably conventional."

"The president is not doing cable news interviews," Cornyn tweeted, quoting the Politico article. "Tweets from his account are limited and, when they come, unimaginably conventional. The public comments are largely scripted. Biden has opted for fewer sit down interviews with mainstream outlets and reporters."

Cornyn also suggested that Biden's messaging strategy undermined his leadership, tweeting, "Invites the question: is he really in charge?"

Psaki pushed back on the assertion on Monday and said Biden "spends his time working on behalf of the American people."

Biden's media interactions have largely consisted of participating in the occasional one-on-one interview, replying to reporters' questions after public events, and sending tweets from his @POTUS account about his administration's work. He held his first presidential news conference last month.

The president's approach significantly differs from that of Trump, who routinely made presidential announcements via late-night tweets and frequently appeared on cable TV channels, particularly Fox News. Trump would also use Twitter to attack his political rivals and drum up support from his base.

Toward the end of his presidency, Trump used social media to spread baseless claims and conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election. Twitter and Facebook eventually barred Trump from their platforms in response to the former president's role in the Capitol insurrection, when swaths of his supporters stormed the building.

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Intel and AMD drop after Nvidia unveils plans to sell new CPU processors

Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang
  • Nvidia on Monday unveiled plans to create and sell its own CPU processors, making it a direct competitor with Intel and AMD.
  • Nvidia has historically focused on manufacturing GPU processors, also known as video cards.
  • Shares of Nvidia jumped as much as 4% after the news, while Intel and AMD both fell about 4%.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

Nvidia announced plans to manufacture its own CPU processor, transforming the company into a direct competitor of both Intel and AMD.

The news sent shares of Nvidia surging by as much as 4% on Tuesday, while both Intel and AMD fell by about 4%. Nvidia has historically manufactured premium GPU processors, also known as video cards, with its target customer being PC gamers.

But now, Nvidia is expanding its reach with an Arm-based data center CPU named Grace that delivers a big performance leap for systems that are training AI models, according to the announcement. Nvidia acquired Arm Holdings last year for $40 billion, though the deal has not yet closed.

"The result of more than 10,000 engineering years of work, the NVIDIA Grace CPU is designed to address the computing requirements for the world's most advanced applications, including natural language processing, recommender systems and AI supercomputing," Nvidia said.

Intel is the world's largest maker of data center CPUs, but increased competition has spurred the company to make big multi-billion dollar investments into its manufacturing capabilities.

Grace is expected to be launched in 2023 and will be used in the build of new supercomputers from Swiss Supercomputing Center and the US Department of Energy's Las Alamos National Laboratory.

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Veterinarians debunk some of the biggest myths about cats


Following is a transcript of the video.

Carly Fox: "Pregnant women can't live with cats." This is a huge myth. Please don't get rid of your cat if you are pregnant. "When cats purr, it means they're happy." This is definitely a myth.

Ann Hohenhaus: "Cats think their owner is their mother."

Fox: Obviously your cat doesn't think that you're its mother. I'm Dr. Carly Fox. I'm an emergency and critical-care veterinarian at the Animal Medical Center in New York City.

Hohenhaus: And I'm Dr. Ann Hohenhaus, also at the Animal Medical Center, but I'm an internal medicine and oncology specialist.

Fox: Today we're going to debunk some cat myths.

Myth #1

Fox: "Cats love milk." I mean, I think this is sort of an image that has been put forth throughout our childhood, like, in storybooks and in movies and on TV, but unfortunately, cats, as they get older, actually are lactose intolerant. So their bodies actually can't even digest milk. As kittens, they have an enzyme called lactase, which helps them break down milk, because they are supposed to be drinking their mother's milk.

But as they get older, that enzyme, which is usually very present, goes away. And then they're unable to digest milk. So if you feed milk to an older cat, or really any cat after they've been weaned from their mother, they really can't digest it. Even though they seem like they're really enjoying themselves, it actually can cause gastrointestinal upset.

Hohenhaus: You can go to the pet store, though, and buy cat milk. [laughs] And the cat milk has two things that make it special for cats. One is it's lactose-free, just like the lactose-free milk you can buy in the grocery store. But it also has extra taurine added to it. And cats require taurine in their diet. So it's just an extra source of that amino acid special for cats.

Fox: I mean, who knew?

Myth #2

Hohenhaus: "Cats are nocturnal." How can you be nocturnal when you sleep 23 hours a day? [laughs] The typical cat sleeps 23 hours a day. They wake up long enough to kill some prey, eat that prey, and then go back to sleep until the next time they're hungry.

Fox: They're actually crepuscular animals.

Hohenhaus: They're what?

Fox: Crepuscular. That means that they're active during dusk and dawn, which goes back to what you just said about them hunting. So, that's how lions hunt. They hunt in the dusk or the dawn, where they can, you know, see prey better, hunt, and kill, and our domestic cats actually evolved from that. So they're actually supposed to be most active in the morning and in the evening, but not necessarily in the middle of the night. Though some cats obviously are.

Hohenhaus: Well, and they are most active in the morning. Ask any cat owner. At 4 o'clock in the morning, that cat's walking on your head and running over the bed, trying to get you up, because they don't have to hunt for breakfast. They just have to get you up.

Myth #3

Fox: "Cats hate water." Can't say that every cat hates water, but, I mean, in my experience, most cats definitely dislike water, as in they don't like being bathed in water. You're definitely not gonna see most cats go for a swim. I'd say most cats don't love water, but when cats are feeling unkempt, perhaps they do like water.

Myth #4

Hohenhaus: "Cats think their owner is their mother." [laughs] I think that they just see you as a source of food and comfort and cleanliness and a safe place to live.

Fox: Yeah, obviously your cat doesn't think that you're its mother, but they definitely think that you're its caretaker and they need you, but, you know, another person could probably fill in that job just as easily for your cat, honestly, so I don't think that cats think that you're their mother. But some people definitely think that.

Myth #5

Fox: "Pregnant women can't live with cats." This is a huge myth. Please don't get rid of your cat if you are pregnant. Cats can sometimes be infected with a parasite called toxoplasmosis, which can be shed in your cat's feces. If picked up by a pregnant woman, this parasite can sometimes cause birth defects or miscarriage, and that's obviously something we would want to avoid.

Cleaning the litter box daily will help with this. You definitely don't want to leave the litter box to go for more than one day because that can increase infection. If you do need to clean the litter box, you should just wear gloves. So the best thing that you can do is have someone clean the litter box for you, which is also just great. Who wants to clean their litter box? It's a break for nine months.

Hohenhaus: So, if you're concerned about your health or your cat's health during your pregnancy, be sure to bring up the topic with both your veterinarian and your obstetrician.

Myth #6

Hohenhaus: "Cats can see in complete darkness." Cats have great night vision. They have, like, a mirror in the back of their eye. And you know that from taking photos of your cat because you see that yellow-green reflection in the camera, and that's this mirror that's in the back of the cat's eye that helps to reflect light around to improve their night vision. And that reflector area is called the tapetum.

Fox: Cats really can't see in complete darkness. They still need a little bit of light in their eye for it to bounce back and forth within the eye off the tapetum, so complete darkness they cannot see in, but a lot of darkness with a little bit of light, they actually can see.

Myth #7

Hohenhaus: "Human food is bad for cats." We don't recommend feeding a human diet to cats, because it doesn't meet their nutritional needs. Cats are obligate carnivores, and it means they need to eat meat. So your diet is not appropriate for cats.

Myth #8

Fox: "Black cats are bad luck." I mean, this is obviously a huge myth.

Hohenhaus: I think that black cats are bad luck for themselves, because they don't get adopted from a shelter as readily as a pretty gray cat or a flashy tricolor cat. So the bad luck is actually for the cat, not for you.

Myth #9

Hohenhaus: "Cats don't love people or babies." My mother was so worried about this when I was having a baby, because I had these cats. And she said, "Those cats are gonna climb in the crib and suffocate my grandson." Nothing like that happened. Babies are unpredictable, and they smell different than people, and they make different movements than people, and they have stinky diapers. So I think this actually might partly be true. It's not that they don't like babies. It's that they're different than the people they're used to.

Myth #10

Fox: "Cats always land on their feet." Well, cats do have an excellent righting reflex, meaning that a lot of the times they actually do land on their feet, and that has to do with their anatomy and their vestibular system. However, unfortunately, I'm an emergency doctor, I live in New York City. I see many, many, many cats not land on their feet. Definitely don't think that your cat will just be fine if it unfortunately falls out of your third-story window or even from your top of your refrigerator.

Hohenhaus: And when they fall, they'll land on their chin, and they often fracture their wrists, and then if they belly flop, as opposed to land on their feet, they'll also get air in their lungs or around their lungs because their lungs get a little tear in it and start leaking. So these injuries are severe and life-threatening for cats. So the answer is get screens or don't open your windows.

Myth #11

Hohenhaus: "Cats and dogs don't get along." I don't have any idea where this would have come from. There are plenty of houses and households in the United States where there are both dogs and cats and they're perfectly fine. Just like some people don't get along, sometimes a dog and cat don't get along, but sometimes you have two dogs and they don't get along or two cats and they don't get along. So I think this is more about the personality of your dog and your cat than it is that they can't get along.

Fox: They're not gonna be the next YouTube sensation, but I guess they maintain a working relationship.

Hohenhaus: Yeah, yeah, that's good. A working relationship. We have to work together to be good pets.

Fox: Yeah. Let's do that.

Myth #12

Fox: "When cats purr, it means they're happy." This is definitely a myth, and I can tell you I've been scratched by many a purring cat. You know, I think purring is oftentimes associated with pleasure in cats; however, sometimes cats can purr for other reasons, like they're very nervous, or it's a warning actually, or they're hungry, not necessarily that they're happy.

Myth #13

Fox: "One human year equals seven cat years." This is definitely, definitely a myth. I think this is something we more associate with dogs, but if you apply it to cats, I think it's even more of a myth.

Hohenhaus: Well, and if you look at it on the reverse end of the lifespan, a cat can have kittens when it's 6 months old. 6-month-old cat would be 3.5 years in human age, and clearly no 3.5-year-old children are having babies of their own.

Fox: I hope not.

Hohenhaus: So, it doesn't work in cats, no.

Fox: Today we debunked some cat myths. There is a little bit of truth to some of these myths that we talked about today, and I think that's very fitting, since cats are these very particular, special animals that are a bit of, like, a mixed bag, just like these myths.

Hohenhaus: My son's first words were "meow." [laughing]

Producer: That's crazy.

Hohenhaus: He would look at the cat and go "meow."

Fox: That's cute, really? [laughing]

EDITOR'S NOTE: This video was originally published in March 2020.

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The 4 best pepper mills and salt grinders in 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

If you've never had freshly ground pepper or salt, you may wonder why you'd want to do all that work to season your food. However, once you've tasted freshly ground salt and pepper, you'll never want to go back to pre-packaged spices.

Pepper, in particular, goes stale and loses its bite when it's packaged already ground. Salt can also take on a special flavor when you grind it freshly - especially if you're using sea salt and a grinder that lets you determine how fine you want it.

The best pepper mills and salt grinders are made with high-end steel or ceramic gears that grind your spices as finely or as coarsely as you want them. Mills should also be easy to fill up and pretty enough to grace your dining room table or kitchen counter.

I tried several different brands before I finally settled on the best set for my needs. The picks in this guide are based on personal testing and research into the best grinders and mills you can buy.

Here are the best pepper mills and salt grinders of 2021

The best overall
Peugot 9 inch set

Peugeot's Paris u'Select 9-inch Pepper and Salt Mills set the gold standard with their gorgeous, durable design and adjustable grind settings.

Pros: Gorgeous wood construction, strong steel grinding mechanism, durable, adjustable settings, lifetime guarantee for grinding mechanism

Cons: Expensive

When I first started my hunt for pepper mills, I was trying very hard not to buy from Peugeot because of the high price tag. However, having tried many others before I finally bought these exact mills, I can confidently say that they are the very best you can buy. 

The Paris u'Select mills have six different settings, so you can grind your pepper as coarsely or as finely as you wish. Both the pepper and salt mills are made from beechwood and you can choose between a few finishes and a range of sizes. I have the dark chocolate colored ones, and they develop a nice polished patina from the oils in your hands over time.

A two-stage burr-style system made from case-hardened steel grinds the peppercorns. Helix-shaped grooves inside the mill crack the peppercorns before grinding to ensure that all the oils and flavors survive the process. The finer settings are really nice for most use cases.

In the salt grinder, two ribbed plates break and crush sea salt to whatever size you choose. The salt grinding mechanism is made of corrosion-resistant stainless steel for added durability. I've found that the middle setting is best for sea salt so that you don't have to grind for ages to get enough fine sea salt to season your dish.

I've had my mills for several years now, and they're still going strong. Peugeot has a lifetime guarantee on the grinding mechanism and a two-year warranty on the mill itself.

The best set on a budget

The OXO Good Grips Lua Salt and Pepper Mill Set is affordable, attractive, and works well.

Pros: Affordable, ceramic grinders, grind from the top, satisfaction guarantee

Cons: Not as durable or as effective as higher-end models

OXO is known for its affordable and practical kitchen products, and the Lua Salt and Pepper Mill Set is another winner. These simple, stylish grinders have clear acrylic bodies topped with steel and black accents. 

The two mills offer five different settings. Unlike every other grinder in our guide, these ones grind from the top instead of the bottom. You tip them upside down to grind salt or pepper onto your food. The advantage of that design is that you don't leave salt and pepper dust on your table every time you set the mills down.

Inside, both mills have ceramic grinders to prevent corrosion. Ceramic is very strong and long-lasting, and although it's common in salt grinders, it's less so with pepper mills, so you may get better performance out of the salt grinder than the pepper mill. Both should work, and if not, OXO has a satisfaction guarantee that allows you to get a refund for any product you dislike.

The best part about the OXO set is how cheap it is at nearly half the cost of buying the Peugeot set.

The best modern design

Fletchers' Mill Border Grill Salt and Pepper Mills are proudly made in America with a lifetime guarantee, variable grind settings, and a gorgeous wooden design.

Pros: Strong wooden construction, attractive design, adjustable grind settings

Cons: Expensive, grind not as precise as Peugeot

Fletchers' Mill is a family run business that uses sustainable wood to craft beautiful products that are guaranteed to last a lifetime. 

Fletchers' Border Grill Salt and Pepper Mills are made from cherry, mahogany, or walnut wood, and you can buy them in fun colors, too. They look classy and simple on any kitchen counter or dining room table.

The mills use a special lock and grind system that allows you to adjust the grind to the exact level of coarseness or fineness that you want. The metal nut on the top is used to adjust the grind. The grind level is a bit less precise than our top pick, but it's perfectly adequate.

Its pepper mills use a stainless steel two-step mechanism that crushes the peppercorns before it grinds them so as to enhance the flavor and keep the natural oils in the pepper. Meanwhile, the salt mills use an adjustable nylon crushing system to pulverize sea salt.

The best clear set
Cole and mason

The Cole & Mason Derwent Salt and Pepper Grinder Set looks gorgeous with its slick acrylic and copper design.

Pros: Pretty modern design, adjustable grind settings, comes in a set, strong grinding mechanisms

Cons: Expensive, not as durable as wood, questionable longevity

If you're not into the solid wood design of our top two picks, the sleek modern look of the Cole & Mason's Derwent Salt and Pepper Grinder Set may be a welcome change. These grinders have a clear acrylic body that showcases the peppercorns and salt chunks inside. Accents in either copper, stainless steel, or dark wood sit at both the top and bottom of these mills.

You can choose from six precise grinds, ranging from coarse to fine. Unlike the grinding systems used by our other picks, Cole & Mason's set doesn't crush the peppercorns, but rather "strips them down by their individual layers as it grinds." As such, you may not get the same complexity of flavor as you would with the Peugeot mills. Most people are unlikely to spot much of a difference, and the company claims its method is better.

The pepper grinder uses carbon steel gears to grind the peppercorns, while the salt mill uses ceramic gears. Both mills have a lifetime guarantee on the mechanism, which is great. The physical mill may be less long-lasting than wood, but we expect it will hold up just fine.

Check out our other great kitchen buying guides
Food52 spices

The best spice grinders

The best cookware sets

The best knife sets

The best kitchen scales

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7 quirky job perks small business owners are using to attract top talent, from custom $1,200 suits to a gifted Peloton

Teddy Fong (left) is the CEO of Million Dollar Baby Co., a children's furniture company.
Million Dollar Baby Co. CEO Teddy Fong and a colleague.
  • The increased desire to continue working from home post-pandemic can be a major benefit for small businesses.
  • To poach top talent, small business owners are offering remote working perks and wellness incentives.
  • One CEO offers his employees a $150 monthly WFH stipend, while another gives a $700 annual subsidy for a domestic vacation.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

From fully remote work to seemingly endless video conference calls, COVID-19 has no doubt changed the way we work over the last year.

And while its long-lasting effects remain to be seen, the increased desire to continue working from home post-pandemic has inspired many workers to consider more flexible workplaces - a trend that has businesses scrambling to compete for talent.

Teddy Fong.
Teddy Fong.

"You have the Silicon Valley companies who are paying for dry cleaning and massages," said Million Dollar Baby Co. CEO Teddy Fong. "But if not done properly, those perks can be like a Trojan horse to get people to stay longer and just do more work."

Instead, Fong opts for smaller, more thoughtful changes that can make big differences in the lives of his employees.

Here are seven unique benefit ideas from small business owners who have successfully recruited talent this year.

1. Give perks that align with your brand's mission

A lot of companies provide their employees with two weeks of paid vacation, but how many of them actually pay their employees to take a vacation?

Million Dollar Baby Co. - known for their suite of baby furniture brands including DaVinci and Babyletto - is bringing new meaning to the phase "paid vacation."

With nearly 150 employees between their office and warehouse, the family operation, run by its founder's children, CEO Teddy Fong and VP of Sales Tracy Fong, offers employees a $700 annual subsidy toward any domestic trip.

The one caveat: After returning from a vacation, employees must present their learnings to the larger team (on Zoom of course).

"One team member recently spoke for 20 minutes about how the dolphins are trained in Mo'orea," said Fong. "It was hilarious, and overly detailed. But moments like these bring our team so much closer together."

2. Invest in employees and your business simultaneously

Two words: Custom suits.

Scott Kimberly runs a five-person law firm in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, but takes his employees on an annual pilgrimage to Manhattan to visit a custom tailor, where each team member is gifted with a custom suit.

Scott Kimberly.
Scott Kimberly.

"It's a win-win for me," said Kimberly. "My employees both feel valued and exude confidence."

Kimberly knows that while big firms may naturally attract more talent, those firms aren't ponying up $1,200 for suits in the first year of employment.

"I'd like to think it makes my [team] feel like a million bucks and keeps them loyal to this brand instead of [considering] the big firms," Kimberly said.

3. Give timely incentives

Headsets.com has 31 full-time employees, and while most of them work remotely, the company is committed to getting all of its employees their COVID-19 vaccinations.

So much so, that Headsets.com founder and CEO Mike Faith is offering a $500 stipend to employees who get vaccinated before June 2021.

Mike Faith
Mike Faith.

"We're suggesting resources for sign up but leaving it to the individual team member to decide how and if they get it," Faith said, adding that the choice to vaccinate is totally optional.

Giving your employees a cash incentive - while also ensuring a safer workspace is a total win-win.

4. Make your benefits the talk of the town

Rachel Brenke is an attorney and business strategist who employs five full-time employees between her two companies, Eden Law and The Brenke Group LLC.

A cancer survivor, mother of five, and author of seven books, Brenke is no stranger to the importance of a balanced personal life - and her employee perks align to that value.

Rachel Brenke
Rachel Brenke.

In addition to unlimited PTO, quarterly bonuses, and a retirement contribution plan, Brenke recently gifted her operations manager a Peloton for surpassing the company's revenue goals in both Q4 2020 and 2020.

"As a mother of five and an athlete who loves to be out training, I know how important it is for a wholly virtual and flexible business," Brenke said, adding that the Peloton gift supported her Operator Manager's desire to pursue her own fitness journey.

Meanwhile, Scott Kimberly knows that the custom suits he buys for his staff get worn outside of work, too.

"I have no doubt that [my employees] proudly share where their suit came from," he said: "From a boss that gives a damn about his employees and wants them to feel valued."

"Make your workplace a place that your employees will brag about to their friends," Kimberly said.

It'll not only make your business look good, but it might also help you recruit more talent.

5. Make sure your benefits are on-brand

Go Text Blast, Inc. offered a remote work option to their six full-time employees long before the pandemic, but last year, they upped the ante, also giving their employees a $100 to $150 monthly work-from-home stipend.

Matthew Payne
Matthew Payne.

"We're a tech startup, so ensuring my developers' [technology] is always up to speed was very important," said Go Text Blast, Inc. CEO and chairman Matthew Payne, who also encourages employees to use the stipend on office supplies and internet services.

Cycling technology company Hammerhead also walks the talk - or, cycles the cycle.

Bianca Nedjar, the head of people at Hammerhead, told Business Insider the company offers its 40 employees a $900 annual athletic endeavor stipend (think: a marathon or wilderness survival hike), along with an additional $200 per year toward cycling equipment purchases and maintenance.

Bianca Nedjar
Bianca Nedjar.

Whether its technology, fitness or something else that's integrated into your company's DNA - make sure your company benefits reflect the job at hand.

6. Think of the long haul

"68% of millennials consider fertility benefits when choosing an employer," said Parham Zar, the founder and managing director of The Egg Donor & Surrogacy Institute in Beverly Hills, California.

And EDSI is taking note, covering 50% of the total cost of IVF and medication for their employees.

With the average IVF cycle costing $12,000 or more - and medication starting at $1,500 or more per cycle, the cost savings to their team are astronomical.

And while 2020 births were down compared to 2019, Miami-based law firm Mark Migdal & Hayden is also confident that family planning is top of mind for their employees.

The firm offers four months of 100% paid parental leave for any employee welcoming a child through birth, surrogacy, or adoption, also allowing employees to schedule the four months of leave at any time throughout a one-year period.

"Studies have shown that [parental leave] is not only advantageous for employees and businesses, but also for combating postpartum depression and boosting emotional development in children through parental bonding," said MM&H founding partner Etan Mark.

Etan Mark.
Etan Mark.

Caring for your employees - especially when they're not in the office - is paramount for long-term retention.

7. Ask the people what they want

It's easy to make assumptions about what a potential employee might want from a benefits standpoint, but how many companies stop to ask?

Every six months, Million Dollar Baby Co. distributes an 80-question survey to their 150 employees to gauge their satisfaction levels at the company. In the age of COVID, those questions range from "Do you have a best friend at the company?" to "Do you feel you have enough face time with your team?"

"We don't want to assume that an employee likes something just because we're doing it," said Fong. "We want to establish benefits that are actually beneficial to our employees."

"And when you establish trust, I think you can get a lot of honest feedback."

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AI startup UiPath looks to raise $1.1 billion in US IPO

GettyImages 1193525288
Co-founder and CEO of UiPath Daniel Dines on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin 2019 at Arena Berlin on December 12, 2019 in Berlin, Germany.

UiPath, an automation software startup founded in Bucharest, Romania, is looking to raise up to $1.1 billion in its initial public offering in the US, according to its prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission Monday, bringing its valuation as high as $26 billion based on its outstanding shares.

The New York-based firm is aiming to offer 6.8 million shares. Its shareholders, meanwhile, are looking to offer 14.5 million shares. All will be class A offered at $43-$50 per piece.

Founded in 2005 by Daniel Dines, a former Microsoft Corp. executive, and Marius Tirca, UiPath automates mundane, repetitive, and time-consuming office tasks through artificial intelligence and machine learning.

"Starting a company from a small place with no market has a hidden advantage: it forces you to think globally from day one," Dines, company CEO, founder, and co-chairman, wrote. "We went against the rules of perfecting the business model first in one territory and instead, we rapidly expanded globally to the United States, Europe, and Asia simultaneously."

More than three-dozen investors - including Accel Partners, CapitalG (formerly Google Capital), Sequoia Capital, and Kleiner Perkins - have put billions into the company. UiPath was initially valued at $35 billion this year.

Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are the lead underwriters. The company will trade under New York Stock Exchange ticker "PATH."

UiPath is among the companies that have benefited from the pandemic.

"Covid-19 has heightened the critical need of automation to address challenges and create value in days and weeks, not months and years. We are committed to working harder to help our customers evolve, transform, and succeed fast in the new normal," Dines said in a statement during its Series E funding in July.

Still, despite UiPath's rapid growth, it goes up against tech giants that have already established their market presence.

"UiPath needs to establish a clear narrative to lead in this market against stiff competition from its peers and newer and big software vendors like Microsoft, ServiceNow, IBM, SAP and others," Saikat Ray, a Gartner senior research director, told Insider.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Scandal-plagued Florida politician Joel Greenberg reportedly tried to leverage his relationship with Rep. Matt Gaetz to get a pardon from Trump

Joel Greenberg, tax collector for Seminole County
Joel Greenberg.
  • Joel Greenberg tried to use his relationship with Matt Gaetz to get a Trump pardon, Politico reported.
  • Greenberg is facing a slew of federal charges, including sex trafficking of a minor.
  • Gaetz is the focus of an investigation into whether he broke sex-trafficking laws and paid for sex.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Joel Greenberg, a Florida politician, tried to pressure GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz to secure a pardon from President Donald Trump, Politico reported on Monday.

Greenberg and Gaetz, close allies in Florida and strong supporters of Trump, are now facing scrutiny from the Department of Justice and an investigation into allegations of sex trafficking of a minor.

Two sources told Politico that Greenberg had spoken about pushing Gaetz to use his relationship with Trump to ask for a pardon. Gaetz has refused to confirm or deny whether Greenberg had asked for a pardon, but he has denied passing along such a request to Trump.

Read more: Biden is expected to name a former top Obama-era federal prosecutor to lead the Justice Department's criminal division, sources say

Politico also reported that in August, in the days before he was charged with sex trafficking, a panic-stricken Greenberg vented to an associate over the encrypted messaging app WhatsApp that prosecutors were zeroing in on his Venmo transactions with the woman, whom he referred to as "Vintage 99."

Politico said the moniker, a reference to the year the woman was born, was her display name on the dating website SeekingArrangement, where mainly young women seek relationships with "sugar daddies." Politico said the woman, whom it did not name, did not return its requests for comment.

"I'm having to pay for vintage 99 to retain [a] lawyer," Greenberg wrote on WhatsApp to the person, whom Politico described as a powerful Republican in the state. Federal agents "contacted her and are wanting her to talk," Greenberg said, according to Politico. "She doesn't want to talk to them."

The other person said they didn't want to be roped into Greenberg's mounting troubles with the law, telling Politico that the entire exchange "felt like a setup."

"I have nothing to do with any of this and think it is incredibly uncool you are trying to lawyer me up to be a part of it, Joel," he said over WhatsApp. "Not. F---ing. Cool."

Greenberg, a former Republican tax collector in Seminole County, is facing 33 federal charges, including sex trafficking of a minor, stalking a rival candidate for the tax collector's office, aggravated identity theft, making fake IDs, wire fraud, illegal monetary transfers involving bitcoin, and conspiracy to bribe an official at the Small Business Administration to secure fraudulent COVID-19 relief loans.

The sex-trafficking charge carries a mandatory sentence of 10 years to life in prison.

The Department of Justice is also investigating allegations that Gaetz was involved in illegal sex trafficking of a minor and that he'd paid women for sex. The investigation began under the Trump administration and appears to have been spun off of the wide-ranging investigation into Greenberg. Gaetz, who has not been charged with a crime, has denied engaging in any illegal activity.

In December and January, Trump pardoned or commuted the sentences of several political allies, including Roger Stone; Paul Manafort; Steve Bannon; Michael Flynn; George Papadopoulos; his son-in-law's father, Charles Kushner; and former Reps. Chris Collins and Duncan Hunter, two of his earliest supporters, along with Hunter's wife.

Greenberg and his lawyers are expected to strike a plea deal with prosecutors in the next month. Former DOJ officials recently told Insider's Sonam Sheth that the breadth and severity of the charges against Greenberg increased the incentive for him to cooperate, which could heighten the legal peril for Gaetz.

"It's the same playbook he used against the teacher he falsely smeared as a pedophile," the Republican on the other end of the WhatsApp conversation told Politico, referring to the stalking charge against Greenberg. "And he'll do the same thing to Gaetz if he can get less prison time."

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8 secret airplane safety features that could save your life


Following is a transcript of the video.

Narrator: This is the bathroom door on an airplane and it can save your life. Not because it's the only thing standing between you and the guy that ate an airport burrito before he got on board. It actually has a hidden safety feature. Can you figure it out?

1. Yellow hooks

In case of an emergency that requires the pilot to land on the water, you'll be grateful for these little yellow hooks. The number and placement of hooks on each wing vary from plane to plane, but they all do the same thing: help passengers to safety. They're an anchor for ropes, which passengers use to steady and pull themselves across the wing especially during a water landing. The ropes and hooks can also be used to tether rafts to the plane so they don't float away as passengers board.

2. No oxygen tanks

Let's say your plane does depressurize. You know the drill - pull down on the mask to extend the tube, cover your nose and mouth with the yellow cup, and always put your own mask on first. But wait, why do you have to pull down on the mask? It's not to reach your face. It's actually to start a chemical reaction. T

here are no oxygen tanks on airplanes. They're just too heavy and bulky to be practical. Instead, the panel above your head contains a chemical oxygen generator. It's a small canister that holds sodium chlorate, barium peroxide, and a pinch of potassium perchlorate. And when all three mix together, the extremely hot chemical reaction lets off oxygen.

3. Fire-resistant cushion

Your seat cushion functions as a flotation device, but did you know it's also fireproof? Let's take this back a few decades. During a 1967 test for the first Apollo moon mission, three astronauts were killed when the interior of the capsule caught on fire. An investigation showed that the craft was filled with highly flammable materials including the foam in the seat cushions.

This led NASA to conduct a whole slew of research for a way to cover flammable things with a fire-resistant material. So in 1984, the Federal Aviation Administration issued new regulations regarding the flammability of airplane seats. And in fact, it's estimated that 20 to 25 lives are saved each year because their seats don't catch on fire.

4. Black triangle

Above some of those flame-resistant seats, you might see a little black or red triangle. Those triangles actually signify what's nicknamed "William Shatner's seat." It's a reference to a 1963 episode of "The Twilight Zone," in which Shatner's character sees a gremlin on the wing of the plane. The triangles signal to the crew which windows have the best view of the wings in case a flap malfunctions or to check to see if they've been deiced.

5. Little window hole

While you're staring at the gremlin on the wing, you might notice a small hole in the window. Usually not a good feature for a window, but necessary in this case. It's called a bleed hole. And it prevents your airplane window from blowing out. That's because the air pressure inside the plane is so much greater than outside, which would cause any normal window to explode.

But the windows on an airplane are made up of three panes: inner, middle, and outer. The outer pane takes the pressure, the middle acts as a fail-safe, and the inner is just there so passengers don't mess with the other two. The hole also lets moisture escape from the gaps so the windows don't fog up or freeze.

6. Dimming lights

If the idea of your window popping out mid-flight causes you stress, just try to keep the shade up anyways. That simple action could give you peace of mind and potentially save your life. Before taking off and landing at night, crews will often dim the cabin lights and ask passengers to open their shades. This is to give their eyes time to adjust to the darkness. In case of evacuation, passengers' eyes will already be acclimated to the blackness outside. If the lights stayed on, their eyes would need time to adjust and they'd end up wasting precious seconds stumbling blindly instead of quickly evacuating.

7. Hidden bathroom lock

While joining the mile-high club might seem like a fun idea, you won't get the kind of privacy you might expect. In fact, a crew member could open the bathroom door at any moment no matter if you locked it or not. On the outside of most airplane bathroom doors is a little plate that says "LAVATORY." And under that little plate is a latch that unlocks the door from the outside. This allows the crew to access the bathroom in case of an emergency.

8. Ashtray

While you're in the bathroom, you might notice an ashtray. "But wait," you think to yourself, "I thought it was illegal to smoke on planes!" You're right! Smoking on an airplane has been banned on US airlines since the late 1980s and could saddle you with a fine of up to $25,000. Even with the threat of a fine, the Federal Aviation Administration isn't taking chances. It lists ashtrays in bathrooms as legally required to meet the minimum equipment needed for a plane. Trash cans on a plane are mostly filled with flammable materials, like cocktail napkins. So tossing a cigarette butt into one of those would not be good.

After all, there are still plenty of things in a plane that aren't covered in flame-resistant material.

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

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Amazon drivers describe the paranoia of working under the watchful eyes of new truck cameras that monitor them constantly and fire off 'rage-inducing' alerts if they make a wrong move

Amazon Delivery Driver
An Amazon delivery driver.
  • Amazon drivers now have multiple cameras constantly filming them as part of the Driveri system.
  • Drivers told Insider they're worried about privacy, with cameras monitoring every yawn.
  • They fear they'll fail to keep up with Amazon's breakneck pace because of the new surveillance system.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Many Amazon drivers say the solitude and the independence of working on the road are big draws of the job.

But those perks are under threat since Amazon started installing surveillance cameras in delivery vans that monitor workers' driving, hand movements, and even facial expressions.

Some workers are paranoid about what the cameras - which peer at them from their windshields and fire off audible alerts following missteps - are watching and how they could be punished for what the technology flags, according to interviews with five drivers.

"I know we're on a job, but, I mean, I'm afraid to scratch my nose. I'm afraid to move my hair out of my face, you know?" a female driver based in Oklahoma told Insider. "Because we're going to get dinged for it."

The Oklahoma driver and several others interviewed asked that their names be withheld for fear that their jobs would be affected, but Insider verified their identities.

Several drivers said the cameras could be helpful in cases of collisions or other dangerous situations. But they also worried about how the technology was affecting their productivity and described concerns with managing bathroom needs, like changing adult diapers, within sight of the cameras.

"We have zero privacy and no margin for error," a California-based driver said.

Netradyne, the maker of the camera system, did not respond to Insider's request for comment. A representative for Amazon said in a statement to Insider that Netradyne cameras are used to keep drivers and communities safe. In a pilot of the cameras from April to October 2020, accidents dropped by 48%, stop-sign violations dropped by 20%, driving without a seatbelt dropped by 60%, and distracted driving dropped by 45%, according to the company.

"Don't believe the self-interested critics who claim these cameras are intended for anything other than safety," Amazon's statement said.

The cameras capture yawns, distracted driving, and more

Amazon Driveri instruction video
A still from the instructional video on Amazon's Netradyne camera system.

The camera system, called Driveri, isn't made by Amazon. It was created by Netradyne, a transportation company that uses artificial intelligence to monitor fleets of drivers.

The system, mounted on the inside of a windshield, contains four cameras: a road-facing camera, two side-facing cameras, and one camera that faces inward toward the driver. Together, the cameras provide 270 degrees of coverage.

While the cameras record 100% of the time when the ignition is running, Amazon says the system does not have audio functionality or a live-view feature, meaning drivers can't be watched in real time while they drive. The cameras upload the footage only when they detect one of 16 issues, such as hard braking or a seatbelt lapse, and that footage can be accessed only by "a limited set of authorized people," Karolina Haraldsdottir, a senior manager for last-mile safety at Amazon, said in a training video about the cameras.

The Driveri system also sounds alerts in four instances: failure to stop, inadequate following distance, speeding, or distracted driving.

The system can be shut off, but only when the ignition is also turned off. Amazon said it would share video data with third parties, such as the police, only in the event of a dangerous incident.

The camera system sparked a backlash from some drivers shortly after it was announced. A driver named Vic told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that the cameras were the final straw that led him to quit, calling them "both a privacy violation and a breach of trust."

A driver named Angel Rajal told Insider last month that he thought the new cameras were "annoying" and made him feel as if he were always being watched.

"I get a 'distracted driver' notification even if I'm changing the radio station or drinking water," he said.

Read more: Amazon logistics salaries revealed: Here's what workers bulking out Amazon's supply chain make, from entry-level analysts to senior management

Drivers say they're worried about their privacy

Amazon delivery driver
The struggles of Amazon drivers have been in the spotlight recently.

In interviews with Insider, drivers whose vans have the cameras installed highlighted a slew of issues they were facing so far. Lack of privacy is a top concern, they said.

Several drivers said they feared that yawning while driving would result in an infraction for drowsiness. And with some drivers feeling pressured to urinate in bottles on the job, there are concerns about being caught on camera in an uncomfortable position.

Bronwyn Brigham, a driver based in Houston who has driven trucks outfitted with Driveri for about two weeks, told Insider that the presence of the cameras made her feel as if she were being watched and made her worry about how to manage her bathroom needs inside the van.

"I have to wear a Depends because I'm 56," she said, referring to a type of adult diaper. "If I wet that Depends, I need to take that off. Then the cameras are on, so that makes it hard. If I need to change into another one, they're watching that."

"We are all worried that we have zero privacy," the California driver said. "Considering we have to use bottles to relieve ourselves - is that being watched?"

The ignition must be off to turn off the cameras, but that leaves drivers with no air conditioning.

As a result, drivers in regions that experience extreme heat during the summer will need to choose between privacy and cool air while they take their breaks.

'Rage-inducing' voices and guidance 'designed to make you slower'

A male driver based in Oklahoma who has been driving with the cameras for about a month told Insider that the Driveri system was obstructing his view while he drives, making it difficult to see house numbers - and children playing - on the passenger side of the street.

"I've had times where I look up and there's nobody there, and then all of a sudden the kid pops out from behind where the camera is obstructing the view," the driver said.

The driver also said the camera's verbal alerts, which use a computer-generated voice, were distracting and "rage-inducing." That sentiment was echoed by several other drivers who said the alerts made them feel as if they were being micromanaged.

Several drivers told Insider that they were worried about receiving infractions for handling their phones on the job, even though they need the devices for navigation.

Drivers rely on two apps while they work: Mentor, which monitors driving, and Flex, Amazon's navigation app. A driver who delivers near the Twin Cities told Insider that he juggled this by loading one app on his work phone and the other on his personal device.

"In order to be successful throughout your day, you have to zoom in and out on the map on the Flex app that you have on a dock that you can look at while driving," he said. "My concern is that ... with the cameras in place, it's going to be noticing we're using our phone while driving."

Keeping up with Amazon's demands is an ongoing concern for drivers. Some are worried that the new system will slow them down, making it more difficult to deliver all the packages they're expected to drop off every day, which could be as many as 300.

For example, Driveri is triggered by a "failure to stop" at an intersection. However, the female Oklahoma-based driver said that in situations where a stop sign is several feet before the intersection, she had to stop twice to avoid an infraction, costing her valuable seconds. The California driver said he feared being reprimanded for going just a few miles above the speed limit.

Brigham said that she was doing her best to drive especially carefully now that the cameras are installed and that it was slowing her down. If she's not moving fast enough, she said, she'll get a call from her dispatcher - a supervisor who tracks drivers' progress - telling her she's running behind in her deliveries.

The male driver from Oklahoma said the new system felt like a Catch-22.

"The job is all about speed and how fast you can get to the door," he said. "But these cameras and some of the other policies Amazon has in place, it's like they're designed to make you slower."

Being watched by a computer is now part of the job

Amazon delivery
Cameras have advantages and create challenges.

Several of the drivers Insider interviewed said there were advantages to the Driveri system.

If an accident occurs during a delivery, for instance, the system will automatically upload the footage. Drivers will be able to prove if they were paying attention and following the rules of the road.

And the cameras will record outside the delivery van for 20 minutes even if the ignition is turned off, which could help drivers if someone approaches the van to harass or rob them.

Still, drivers say the cameras are a new frustration in an already challenging job.

"I do like my job, but it is stacked up against me," the California driver said.

The driver said that 99% of the time he enjoyed delivering packages but that the cameras highlighted the extreme demands of the job. Recently, he said, he worked from 10:45 a.m. to 10:10 p.m. He said he did not have time for a single break and had to pee in a bottle twice. The entire time, he was aware the camera was on.

"The part that bothers me the most is that we're being watched by a computer," the male driver from Oklahoma said, "and that computer is what makes a judgment as to whether we're doing something wrong or not, whether or not we get to keep our jobs."

Are you an Amazon driver with a story to share? We want to hear from you. Email ahartmans@businessinsider.com or ktaylor@businessinsider.com, or via the Signal encrypted messenger app at (646) 768-4740.

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Wealthy homeowners are dropping nearly $40,000 on luxury stoves that won't arrive for months. It's a symptom of a broader appliance shortage hampering homeowners and industry insiders alike.

appliance deals 2021
  • Wealthy homeowners are dropping nearly $40,000 on luxury stoves that have a three-month wait time.
  • It's a symptom of a broader appliance shortage that began last spring.
  • The shortage is due to surging demand, pandemic-related supply chain issues, and a chip shortage.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Many wealthy homeowners have spent the pandemic renovating their multimillion-dollar homes, and it's led to skyrocketing demand for appliances - including a certain $40,000 stove.

The New York Times' Guy Trebay reported on the real estate boom among the rich and the surge in redecorating and renovating that followed. Interior designers are being flooded with requests to take on new jobs, realtors are booking tens of millions in sales, and decorators are sourcing sectional sofas that cost as much as $31,000.

And when it comes to appliances, the entry-level options won't do. According to The Times, demand for items like Sub-Zero refrigerators, $4,000 ice machines, and high-end Wolf ranges surged in the third quarter of 2020.

The "must-have range" for 2021, a French range called the La Grande Cuisine 2000, has six gas burners, two ovens, and an electric griddle, and has a stylish matte and copper finish. It costs almost $40,000 and there's a three-month wait-time to get it, the company that makes it, L'Atelier Paris, told The Times.

A post shared by L'Atelier Paris (@l_atelier_paris)

Appliances are in high demand, and the shortage isn't letting up

While the wait time on a $40,000 stove affects a small subset of consumers, a broader appliance shortage is hampering homeowners across the country. Beginning last fall, many Americans embarked on home improvement projects ahead of a winter stuck indoors. It put a strain on appliance-makers, who struggled to keep up with the uptick in demand.

Executives from Swedish appliance giant Electrolux said on a conference call in October that it had entered the quarter with "unusually low inventory levels," despite higher production levels.

"The increased time spent at home during the pandemic has resulted in more intensive use of appliances and higher share of household budgets allocated to home improvement," executives said at the time.

Whirlpool, the other largest appliance-maker next to Electrolux, also pointed to high demand last fall. Whirlpool chief financial officer James Peters said in October that the company's order backlog was "very high."

While demand for appliances amid a home improvement boom is partially to blame, external factors are also making it difficult to buy new appliances. Factories shut down in the early months of the coronavirus last spring, slowing down production of new dishwashers and refrigerators. At the same time, wealthy homeowners started buying up extra appliances like freezers in order to stockpile groceries. At stores like Home Depot and Best Buy, freezers were sold out entirely or back-ordered for months at a time.

The shipping and logistics industries were strained last year too, leading to national chains like Lowe's shifting their models to direct-to-consumer deliveries. And an ongoing chip shortage means that appliance makers who offer items with smart capabilities are feeling the strain.

Jason Ai, the president of Whirlpool in China, told Reuters in March that the company was facing "a perfect storm" of high demand and shortages. He told Reuters that Whirlpool has had a difficult time sourcing the processors that power more than half of its product lineup, including washing machines, microwaves, and refrigerators, according to Reuters.

"On the one hand we have to satisfy domestic demand for appliances, on the other hand we're facing an explosion of export orders," Ai told Reuters. "As far as chips go, for those of us in China, it was inevitable."

Even after over a year of the pandemic, industry insiders don't expect the shortages to let up anytime soon. Appliance store owners in various parts of the US warn that issues with supply could extend for several more months.

"Do not wait until the last minute if you're trying to build a house or are shopping for appliances," Paul Klein, the owner of an appliance store in Louisiana, told NOLA.com. "Get your order in now because I don't think it's going to get better until 2022."

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The 5 best bike lights for better visibility while cycling at night

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky
  • Bike lights keep you visible in low-light conditions, alerting oncoming traffic or anyone else on the road.
  • The best should be easy to take off and put on and have a battery capable of lasting for hours of riding.
  • Our top pick, the Cygolite Streak 450 Hotshot SL, comes with a headlight and taillight and has several light modes.

Living in New York City means my go-to mode of transportation is my bike. Whether I need to run errands during the week or want to get some exercise on a long weekend ride, there aren't many days during the spring and summer that I don't spend at least a little bit of time pedaling around Brooklyn.

But just as I'd never leave my apartment without a helmet, I always make sure to pack along a set of bike lights - no matter how long I plan on being out. Bike lights are an indispensable part of any cycling kit and one that can very well save your life.

Throughout my years of cycling, I've learned firsthand the immense value of a quality set of bike lights (and how dangerous a poor set can be). I've also come across my fair share of bike light variety; there are some designed to be highly portable and easy to install, while others are intended for trail riding.

Below, I've rounded up five of my favorites from brands like Malker and NiteRider. At the end of this guide, I've also included some tips on how to show for a bike light, as well as insight into the testing methodology used to decide which lights ultimately made the cut.

Here are the best bike lights:

The best overall

For a reasonable price, the Cygolite Streak 450 Hotshot SL Bike Light Combo Set includes a bright headlight and taillight to make your early morning or late night commutes safer.

Pros: Incredibly bright, long battery life, easy to mount, several useful lighting modes

Cons: Uses Mini USB (rather than the more common Micro USB)

The Cygolite Streak 450 Hotshot SL Bike Light Combo Set comes with the Streak 450 Lumen headlight, which lasts for up to 100 hours on a single charge, and the Hotshot SL 50 Lumen taillight, which lasts for 200 hours on a single charge.

The lights charge using a Mini USB cord that you can plug into your computer or a cube. Since many electronics these days rely on Micro USB (not mini), you may want to keep a Mini USB cord with you on your rides so you aren't stranded with dead lights. Or, if you see the low battery indicator turn on, be sure to charge the light before you go out.

The headlight has seven lighting modes: boost, high, medium, low, steady pulse, walking, and daylighting, which consists of powerful flashes that make you stand out in broad daylight. The taillight also has a lightning mode as well as five other modes of varying flash tempo and brightness.

The best easy install
bike light

If you're looking for a light that's just as easy to install as it is to take off your bike, consider picking up the surprisingly well-built and bright TeamObsidian Bike Light Set.

Pros: Affordable, adjustable beam width, lifetime guarantee

Cons: Doesn't come with batteries, not designed for trail riding

One of the benefits you sacrifice with the low cost of the TeamObsidian Bike Light Set is usability out of the box. Batteries aren't included. Despite having to buy five AAA batteries (I recommend getting rechargeable versions), there's a lot to like about this set.

The headlamp produces 200 lumens of light. Both lights have three lighting modes — high, dimmed, and flashing — and are designed to withstand water, snow, heat, and dust. Installation is effortless and tool-free. And, the lights have quick-release mounts so you can take them with you and avoid potential thefts.

TeamObsidian stands behind the quality of its bike lights by offering a "100% no-hassle lifetime guarantee." The company specifically states that it will refund your money if you're dissatisfied for any reason. And, if the lights break, it will send you new ones.

The best on a budget

Malker's bike lights are a great budget buy for anyone looking for a set of easy-to-install front and taillights — they even have a variety of light settings which add to their versatility. 

Pros: Easy to strap onto a bike's handlebars and seatpost, comes with front and rear lights, has multiple light settings including a strobe function

Cons: Light modes can be hard to toggle, not robust enough for all riding conditions

These LED lights from Malker have been a go-to of mine for several years, as they're extremely easy to put on and take off and incredibly cost-effective — I often see them on sale for under $10. The fact they come as a set of four (two standard, front-facing lights and two red, rear-facing lights) only adds to their utility, too. 

Aside from their price and ease of use, what I like about these lights from Malker is how lightweight they are. I'm able to stash them in my backpack before I head out for a ride, but can also just leave them attached to my bike and they don't take up too much space or get in the way of anything while I bike.

If I lock my bike up, their strap-on style makes it easy to just unhook them and put them back in my bag (or even a pant pocket), though it is worth noting to make sure the lights are completely off when stashing them. Several times I thought I've turned them off, only to find them still on but on a different light setting next time I go to use them (or the battery would just be completely sapped).  -- Rick Stella, fitness and health editor

The best for trail riding

If you prefer to take your mountain bike off-road at night and you have a little extra to spend, consider the NiteRider Pro 1800 Race Light.

Pros: 1800 lumens output, long distance beam that maintains uniformity, excellent for trail riding at night

Cons: Expensive, hard to remove

What sets the NiteRider Pro 1800 Race Light apart from the other lights in our guide is that it gets brighter than your average car headlight. There are five modes: high, medium, low, walk, and flash.

The light is designed to stand up to the elements with Dupont fiberglass reinforced nylon housings and a borosilicate glass lens, which is resistant to extreme temperature changes. The eight-step power gauge tells you how much battery power is left, and you can easily swap out batteries so you aren't left in the dark while you wait for your light to charge.

The best side light
urban bike light

The Light and Motion Urban 500 Headlight keeps you visible from the front and sides with its powerful headlight and helpful sidelights.

Pros: Has sidelights, 500 lumens, lightweight and compact, easy to remove, two-year warranty

Cons: USB port cover falls off easily

When mounted just right, the Light and Motion Urban 500 Headlight has two amber safety sidelights that make you visible to drivers on your sides. There are four light modes: high (500 lumens), medium, low, and pulse.

On high, the battery lasts for about 90 minutes, and on pulse, it lasts for up to 12 hours. The light mounts right onto your handlebars and has a quick release feature so you can take your light with you. It charges using a Micro USB charging cable. And, Light and Motion backs the quality of this product with a two-year warranty.

How to shop for a bike lights

When choosing a bike light, look at the number of lumens it's capable of producing, as this tells you how bright the light is. Many models give you this number right in their name and, based on our testing, the advertised lumens rating is accurate for the best units, though the brightness may dwindle as the battery loses juice.

For headlights, the number of lumens you need depends on where you'll be cycling. For riding trails at night, you need at least 1,000 lumens. For urban roads where there are streetlights, 200 lumens will do. And, taillights should produce between 40 and 100 lumens of output since they are mainly there so others can see you.

Do be careful not to use extremely bright flashing headlights while cycling, too. This can disorient drivers and make it harder for them to see you.

Also, anything above 300 lumens could potentially blind oncoming traffic. So, consider dropping down to a dimmer setting when cars are coming — much like you might use the high beams on your car. If you're concerned about drivers seeing you from behind, consider installing two rear lights: One that flashes and one that remains steady.

How we test bike lights

Each of the bike lights featured in this guide went through a series of tests to determine how well they compared across these four categories: Brightness, ease of use, versatility, and value. Here's how each category specifically factored into deciding which lights made this guide:

Brightness: Judging a bike light's brightness isn't just about its lumen output or its actual brightness, but more so the quality of the light and what kind of settings it offers. As mentioned in the section on how to shop for a bike light, quality bike lights can vary in lumen output between 200 to 1,000 lumens, though this depends on where you plan on riding. To test for this, we looked at how effective the light was at making us visible without blinding oncoming traffic, while also providing some illumination of our surroundings. 

Ease of use: A bike light that's hard to install, or even difficult to turn on and switch between its light settings, isn't one that's going to be particularly thrilling to use over and over again. If the light is easy to use, you'll be more inclined to use it. Plain and simple. It's also preferred that a light doesn't require much toggling while you're riding (or, at the very least, is easy to use).

Versatility: Being able to use a single set of bike lights on multiple bikes isn't exactly a dealbreaker but it is nice to have that flexibility if need be. Additionally, a light that offers multiple brightness settings or a variety of light modes makes it far more valuable than just a standard, single beam light. 

Value: A bike light's value isn't just what its sticker price says but more so a combination of the three categories above, and how that compares to what it costs. There are plenty of valuable lights in the $15-$40 range, capable of fitting a range of budgets without sacrificing much quality. 

More Insider Reviews bike gear guides
best bike helmet

The best bike helmets

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Biden says it 'remains to be determined' if fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright in Minnesota was accidental

President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting with labor leaders in the Oval Office of the White House, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021, in Washington
  • President Joe Biden said it "remains to be determined" if the shooting of Duante Wright was accidental or not.
  • Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, was shot during a routine traffic stop in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

In his first remarks about the police killing of a 20-year old Black man, Daunte Wright, President Joe Biden said that "it remains to be determined," whether the shooting was accidental or not.

Biden added that he viewed "fairly graphic" body camera footage of Wright's death, where an officer shot him during a routine traffic stop.

The cop mistakenly drew their gun instead of a Taser, according to Minnesota police. The officer is on administrative leave while authorities investigate the deadly shooting.

Biden said would review additional details before calling the Wright family, saying the family was in his prayers.

"We do know that the anger pain and trauma amidst the Black community is real," said Biden. He added: "There is absolutely no justification for looting, no justification for violence."

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2 experts explain why the company whose ship blocked the Suez Canal has seen its stock surge 28% since the incident started

Suez canal ever given
  • Evergreen Marine Corporation has rallied 28% since its Ever Given ship got stuck in the Suez Canal.
  • We spoke with two analysts who said its not unusual for freight tanker stocks to see bouts of volatility.
  • Freight tanker stocks are heavily tied to shipping rates, which have skyrocketed this year.
  • However, the canal blockage exacerbated supply and demand conditions and pushed rates higher.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

The stock price of the Taiwanese transportation company whose ship blocked the Suez Canal has soared ever since the incident that upended global trade began.

Shares of Evergreen Marine Corporation have gained 28% since March 23, the day the Ever Given ship got stuck in the Suez Canal and triggered an epic traffic jam of more than 400 ships.

Evergreen's stock has been climbing since last summer, but saw a significant spike after the canal blockage. On the day the Ever Given got stuck, Evergreen tumbled 8% and closed at 42.75 New Taiwan dollars (NT$). Since then, it's rallied to NT$55-the highest price in over a year-bringing Evergreen's yearly gain to 440%.

It's not out of the ordinary for ocean freight tanker stocks to experience volatility, as they're heavily tied to shipping rates which tend to swing around, said Adam Scheiner, an analyst at UBS Global Wealth Management.

But shipping rates have been steadily rising as the world emerges from the pandemic, and the canal blockage only exacerbated port congestion and demand for shipping.

"The blockage in the Suez Canal just poured gasoline on this demand and price fire," Scheiner told Insider.

Peter McNally, Third Bridge's global sector lead for industrials, materials, and energy, told Insider that container shipping rates are up four times since the start of last year.

"This was the state of play before the Ever Given snarled global shipping traffic," he explained.

A shortage of containers and difficulties dealing with the logistics of getting vessels in use back to Asia drove shipping rates higher throughout the year, McNally said. Additionally, the pandemic slowed air traffic and more companies turned to marine shipping to transport freight, he said.

High shipping rates will bode well for freight transportation companies, but Evergreen may be coming under pressure soon for its role in the global trade chaos.

The company could be facing a fine as large as $1 billion, though Evergreen's president said the shipping giant is "free of responsibility from cargo delays" because "it will be covered by insurance," according to Bloomberg.

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How much does a mattress cost? We break down why mattresses cost what they do and what you should expect to spend


If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

How much does a mattress cost 4x3
  • Mattress prices are influenced most by type, size, and whether it's sold online or in a physical store.
  • Expect to pay $450 or less for a budget-friendly foam mattress, or at least $2,500 for a luxury latex mattress.
  • Mattress sales throughout the year can save you hundreds of dollars.

When it comes to buying a mattress, it doesn't hurt to pay more for a quality model that will keep you comfortable and last for years. However, it helps to be aware of what those price ranges are so your expectations aren't skewed and you don't overpay for your mattress.

But how much does a mattress cost? There are several criteria to take into account. Read on to find out what determines the cost of a mattress, and learn what you can expect to pay for budget, mid-priced, and luxury models.

We'll even explain how you can save money on a new mattress and pick up some free sleep accessories in the process.

Once you have a handle of your budget, check out our comprehensive guide to the best mattresses for every type of sleeper.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

What influences the cost of a mattress?

In determining the cost of a mattress these three criteria carry the most weight:

  • Type: What your mattress is made of (and how it's made) influences cost in a big way. All-natural materials tend to command higher prices than synthetic materials.
  • Size: Naturally, bigger mattresses cost more. The price of a twin mattress is roughly half the cost of a king.
  • Buying online: Purchasing a mattress online is less expensive than buying from physical stores, which usually have significant markups on mattresses.

Additional factors that contribute to mattress costs:

  • Shipping costs: Although many popular bed-in-a-box brands offer free shipping.
  • White-glove setup: This extra service can also include the removal of your old mattress.
  • Returns: Some warranties may place the burden of return shipping costs onto the customer.
  • Foundations and box springs, or other necessary accessories: Some of these add-ons may be a requirement for you to enjoy for your new mattress.

Mattress costs by type

Prices vary quite a bit among mattress types, and even within the individual mattress types there are differences in costs. Here's how it breaks down:

Type of mattress Budget Mid-priced Luxury
Foam mattress $450 or less From $1,000 From $1,300
Innerspring mattress $600 or less From $1,000 From $1,200
Hybrid mattress $1,100 or less From $1,500 From $2,200
Latex mattress $1,200 or less From $2,000 From $2,500

Foam mattress costs

Foam mattresses contain multiple layers of adaptable material that supports and contours your body. (Most bed-in-a-box brands specialize in foam mattresses.) Polyfoam, a high-density foam that degrades quickly with regular use, is typically found in budget foam mattresses. Memory foam and foam with specialty cooling materials are more durable but also more expensive.

Innerspring mattress costs

An innerspring mattress may be what comes to mind when you think of a traditional bed. While there's little construction-wise to distinguish today's hybrid mattresses from innerspring mattresses - both are usually made from a combination of foam and springs - many legacy mattress brands like Sleepy's, Beautyrest, and others still sell mattresses under the innerspring category. These usually denote mattresses that are a bit firmer and have the traditional bounce of a spring mattress

Hybrid mattress costs

Hybrid is a newer term to describe mattresses that blend foam and springs. Construction-wise, they're not all that different than today's innerspring mattresses, but they may have more layers, thicker construction, and a softer feel than what you think of with a traditional spring mattress.

Latex mattress costs

Latex is a more eco-friendly alternative to memory foam. However, turning latex into foam is an involved and costly process - and that's reflected in the price. Synthetic latex is less expensive than natural latex, but many latex mattresses on the market contain a blend of man-made filler and natural materials.

Air bed mattress costs

Air bed mattresses allow you to adjust the firmness via air pump, which makes it perfect for couples with different sleep preferences. This level of customization does come at a premium, however. The most expensive air beds have latex or memory foam comfort layers and include a remote control so you can make adjustments easily.

How much should I spend on a mattress?

Based on our testing, you should expect to spend between $1,000 to $2,000 for a really great quality Queen-sized mattress that is supportive and built for long-term use. Most of our top picks fall into this range. Time and time again our experts have said you should think of a mattress as an investment; you spend about a third of your life on it, and sleep quality has the ability to impact your health and well-being.

While you can spend more, in our experience, the benefits are minimal unless you're buying a bed that is specifically engineered to solve a specific sleep problem like adjustable air beds or cooling mattresses.

Our mattress picks by budget

One of our favorite mid-priced mattresses is the DreamCloud Premier Hybrid Mattress. It's made with CertiPUR-US certified foams and has a firmness that will appeal to most sleepers. Best of all, DreamCloud offers a generous 365-day trial, plus a lifetime warranty.

Premier Hybrid Mattress (small)

If price is no object, check out the luxury Tempur-Pedic PRObreeze Hybrid Mattress. It's designed to keep you cool all night and provides pressure relief without that dreadful sinking feeling. A 10-year Tempur-Pedic warranty applies, but there's no trial period.

PRObreeze Mattress (Queen) (small)

As for a budget mattress, the affordable Zinus Cooling Gel Memory Foam Mattress starts at $198. It has excellent motion transfer and cooling properties for its price; however, the tradeoff here is poor edge support. Zinus throws in a 100-night trial plus a 10-year warranty.

Cooling Gel Memory Foam Mattress (Queen) (small)

How can I save money on a mattress?

Buying a mattress online is cheaper than purchasing one at a significant markup in-store. For peace of mind, online mattress sellers include a trial period so you can try your new mattress risk-free and return it at little to no cost if it doesn't work out.

The best mattress deals tend to come from brands such as Casper, Leesa, Tempur-Pedic, and Tuft & Needle. You can also find occasional discounts from stores like Wayfair and Overstock. These mattress sales can help you save as much as $500 on your purchase. Plus, many vendors like to throw in freebies, ranging from premium pillows to mattress covers.

Mattress sales typically crop up around major holidays, and we recently saw a parade of offers for sleep awareness week in mid-March. However, there are mattress deals to be found year-round - you can check some of those out below.

Save on a mattress today

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The global chip shortage is set to drag on. 4 experts predict how long it could last and how it could affect markets

Semiconductor microchip stock image

Semiconductors are some of the most critical components for the technology the underpins much of modern life.

Smartphones, PCs, electric vehicles, and even your fancy new refrigerator all use the chips to operate. When the supply of these vital products falls, it can become a big issue.

Over the last year, the semiconductor shortage has caused car companies to halt production, made getting graphics cards for PCs headache, and it's led companies like Apple to face significant supply constraints in its rollout of new products.

Semiconductors are so important that they can even create national security issues when drones, fighter jets, and other critical military components are affected.

That's one of the reasons why President Biden met with 20 top executives on Monday to discuss what can be done to fix the chip industry's supply constraints and make sure something like this doesn't happen again in the future.

President Biden has committed to helping the industry fix the semiconductor shortage with his new infrastructure bill. The $2 trillion infrastructure and jobs package will include some $50 billion for semiconductor research and production.

Still, despite help from the US government, experts say the global chip shortage is set to drag on. Below, Insider details how long four experts expect the crisis to continue and what it could mean for markets.

Ted Mortonson, Baird technology desk sector strategist

In an interview with Insider on April 6, Baird's Ted Mortonson said he believes the global chip shortage will continue through the rest of the year.

The tech sector strategist said rising demand from the cloud sector, the 5G rollout, telecommunications firms, EV makers, and more is one of the main reasons for the shortage and noted that new capacity will need to come online to offset demand.

Mortonson highlighted semiconductor firms' recent investments into capacity including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.'s $100 billion investment over the next three years that the company says will "increase capacity to support the manufacturing and R&D of advanced semiconductor technologies."

However, the strategist said that despite new initiatives, much of the additional capacity won't come online until the end of the year. Mortonson also noted that most semi companies have instituted "non-cancellable orders" and that lead times range from 15 weeks to over 50 weeks in some cases.

Mark Fields, former Ford CEO and senior advisor at TPG Capital

Mark Fields sat down with CNBC on April 9 to discuss the effects of the global chip shortage on the auto industry. Fields said auto manufacturers lost about 3 million units due to COVID in 2020 and he expects the chip shortage may be just as destructive.

"Through the first quarter, through various forecasts, it looks like about 700,000 units were lost…you can just do the simple math and you could see that the losses could approach the level of the Covid losses for last year," the advisor said.

Fields also said automakers are trying to maximize their production value by focusing on selling their highest margin vehicles, but that it's really a "game of whack-a-mole" given the breadth of supply constraints.

Fields added that the situation for automakers should get better in the second half of 2021, but the industry won't fully recover until well into 2022.

Ganesh Moorthy, chief executive officer at Microchip Technology

Ganesh Moorthy, the CEO of Microchip Technology, spoke with CNBC on Monday about the chip shortage and said it's the worst crisis he's seen in the industry in 40 years.

The "imbalance between supply and demand has never been this acute in all my history in this industry," the CEO said.

Moorthy also said that he believes supply constraints will last through the year and "most likely" continue into next year.

The CEO added that the chip shortage has been "brewing for some time" and said that it started with tariffs during 2018 which caused demand to fall. In response, Moorthy says many chip manufacturers leaned out inventory and idled some factories in response.

Then when the pandemic hit, a swath of new stay-at-home trends caused demand to skyrocket, leading to the shortage.

Moorthy said that it "takes six months of cycle time from when we say go to when production comes online full force," so he expects the lack of supply to continue moving forward.

Anand Srinivasan, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst

Anand Srinivasan, an analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence, spoke with Yahoo Finance on Monday and said that the chip shortage could persist well into the second half of 2021.

The analyst said investors shouldn't just be worried about their auto industry holdings due to the semiconductor shortage either.

"In the grand scheme of a $440 billion industry the auto business is only 8%, 9% of semiconductors," the analyst said.

Srinivasan is "more worried about other areas where the impact could be larger and it affects a lot more people."

He said a variety of products will be affected by the shortage but argued the two industries he's most worried about are PCs and smartphones, which make up some 70% of semiconductor demand.

The good news for investors is that Srinivasan believes that the lack of supply will stretch out demand, rather than hurting it. "You're not going to go out and buy a bicycle because you couldn't get your Audi A4," the analyst said.

This means that although production might be hurt in the short-term, over the long haul strong demand will remain, according to the analyst.

Read the original article on Business Insider

This map shows the highest-paying job in every state, excluding doctors


Doctors earn a lot of money across the board, but other professions can also pay well.

Medical doctors of various specializations are the highest-paying job in many US states, including Washington, Colorado, and Maine. Insider took a look at the highest-paying job in each state and DC outside of the medical field.

For our analysis, we looked at occupations for which the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported at least 1,000 employees in the state with the highest average salary in 2020, the most recent year that data is available. The data comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program (previously the Occupational Employment Statistics program) and excludes several professions for medical doctors and dentists.

To get a sense of what occupations, other than doctors, are well paid across the US, we excluded family medicine physicians, surgeons, dentists, anesthesiologists, general internal medicine physicians, obstetricians and gynecologists, psychiatrists, and all other general physicians.

Chief executives dominate the non-medical occupations; this occupation is the highest-paying job in 19 states and Washington DC. Airline pilots, co-pilots, and flight engineers are the top-paying jobs other than doctors in six states.

Below we included the 11 different high-paying jobs across the US, apart from doctors, in alphabetical order. We also included their mean annual salary in each state and Washington DC.

Airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers

What they do, according to O*NETPilot and navigate aircrafts.

Alaska: $180,100

California: $229,110

Colorado: $200,040

Florida: $229,730

Michigan: $248,770

Nevada: $236,260

Architectural and engineering managers
architectural engineer

What they do, according to O*NETPlan, direct, or coordinate activities in such fields as architecture and engineering or research and development in these fields.

Hawaii: $154,070

Idaho: $151,950

Louisiana: $157,800

New Hampshire: $158,100

New Mexico: $172,910

Chief executives
Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan.
Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan.

What they do, according to O*NET: Develop policies and provide overall direction of companies or other organizations.

Alabama: $174,910

Arizona: $178,890

District of Columbia: $253,820

Illinois: $225,710

Indiana: $166,390

Kansas: $162,510

Kentucky: $162,670

Maine: $152,620

Massachusetts: $231,260

Missouri: $176,430

Nebraska: $197,850

New York: $218,720

North Carolina: $220,940

Ohio: $195,200

Pennsylvania: $227,250

Texas: $239,060

Utah: $158,730

Virginia: $236,820

Washington: $243,150

Wisconsin: $185,450

Computer and information systems managers
computer programmer

What they do, according to O*NET: Plan, direct, or coordinate activities in such fields as electronic data processing, information systems, systems analysis, and computer programming.

Georgia: $148,760

Iowa: $126,740

Maryland: $158,630

New Jersey: $191,120

Financial managers
sales manager

What they do, according to O*NETPlan, direct, or coordinate financial activities.

Connecticut: $170,500

Delaware: $176,630

North Dakota: $140,740

Rhode Island: $169,070

Vermont: $112,700

General and operations managers

What they do, according to O*NET: Plan, direct, or coordinate the activities of public or private organizations.

South Dakota: $131,890

Wyoming: $101,060

Health specialties teachers, postsecondary
lecture class college

What they do, according to O*NET: Teach courses in health specialties, in fields such as dentistry and public health.

Mississippi: $162,670

Oregon: $169,060

Nurse anesthetists
nurse anesthetist

What they do, according to O*NETAdminister anesthesia, monitor patient's vital signs, and oversee patient recovery from anesthesia.

Minnesota: $216,050

South Carolina: $185,850

Tennessee: $171,020

Petroleum engineers
petrolum engineer

What they do, according to O*NET: Devise methods to improve oil and gas extraction and production.

Oklahoma: $156,390


What they do, according to O*NET: Dispense drugs prescribed by physicians and other health practitioners and provide information to patients about medications and their use. 

Montana: $116,710

West Virginia: $129,440

Sales managers
talking to manager

What they do, according to O*NET: Plan, direct, or coordinate the actual distribution or movement of a product or service to the customer.

Arkansas: $138,030

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Elon Musk's Neuralink could transition from implanting chips in monkeys to humans within the year

elon musk
Elon Musk, founder and chief engineer of SpaceX speaks at the 2020 Satellite Conference and Exhibition March 9, 2020 in Washington, DC.
  • Elon Musk on Thursday released a video described as showing a monkey playing video games with its mind.
  • Earlier in the year, Musk said Neuralink plans to initiate human trials by the end of the year.
  • In 2019, Musk said it would be testing the AI brain chips on humans by the end of 2020.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Last week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk released a video showing how his company Neuralink- a brain-computer-interface company - had advanced its technology to the point that the chip could allow a monkey to play video games with its mind.

Neuralink could transition from operating on monkeys to human trials within the year, if the startup meets a previous prediction from Musk. In February, he said the company planned to launch human trials by the end of the year after first mentioning his work with the monkey implants.

At the time, the CEO gave the timeline in response to another user's request to join human trials for the product, which is designed to implant artificial intelligence into human brains as well as potentially cure neurological diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

Read more: Rivian uses one of Elon Musk's favorite job-interview techniques to determine which candidates stand out from the pack

"Neuralink is working super hard to ensure implant safety & is in close communication with the FDA," Musk said on Twitter in response to another user's request to join human trials. "If things go well, we might be able to do initial human trials later this year."

Musk has made similar statements in the past about his project, which was launched in 2016. He said in 2019 that it would be testing on humans by the end of 2020.

There has been a recent flurry of information on the project. Prior to the recent video release on Twitter, Musk had made an appearance on the social media site, Clubhouse, and provided some additional updates on Neuralink back in February.

During his Clubhouse visit, Musk detailed how the company had implanted the chip in the monkey's brain and talked about how it could play video games using only its mind.

Neuralink has tested the chips on other animals. Last year, the company implanted an AI brain chip into a pig.

See also: Elon Musk's move to Texas is a publicity stunt that reveals how Tesla is maturing as an automaker

The chip implants can read and write brain activity. Musk claims the brain-machine interface could do anything from cure paralysis to give people telepathic powers, referring to the device as "a Fitbit in your skull."

Read the original article on Business Insider

How to sign up for Starlink, Elon Musk's satellite-internet service

starlink satellite internet spacex smartphone phone trcker logo illustration GettyImages 1229328429
A photo illustration of a satellite-tracking app showing one of SpaceX's Starlink internet-beaming spacecraft on a map of Earth.

Starlink, a satellite-based internet service and division of Elon Musk's aerospace company SpaceX, is currently in its beta-testing phase. But some users can sign up to preorder the internet service, which aims to provide "high-speed, low latency broadband internet" globally.

Here's how to sign up:

  1. Go to Starlink's website.
  2. Enter your email and address to find your service area.
  3. See when Starlink estimates it will provide service to your location.
  4. Pay a $99 deposit upfront that will be deducted from the monthly fee of $99, the $499 hardware cost, and shipping.

The site disclaims that there are limited spots available and that the spots will be filled on a "first-come, first-served basis" for preorders.

The $99 deposit payment gives consumers a "priority position" in the queue for Starlink services in their region, and the amount will be applied to an eventual purchase. The terms and conditions for preorders state that Starlink can't guarantee when or if service will be available, saying "service delivery is dependent on many factors, including various regulatory approvals."

Insider reported in February that customers in several countries, including the United States, Mexico, and Australia, had successfully pre-ordered the Starlink Kit, containing a router, antenna, power supply, and mount.

In October 2020, Insider reported that Starlink beta tests in the Pacific Northwest showed promising results and extremely high download speeds. However, concerns about crowding, affordability, and international licensing still present challenges for the venture.

Musk has previously said that Starlink plans to go public once cash flow can be predicted "reasonably well."

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Your phone could have 18 times more bacteria than a public restroom - this clever device sanitizes it for you


If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Sanitize your phone while it charges with PhoneSoap.

  • I'm a germaphobe, and PhoneSoap gives me peace of mind by cleaning my device with minimal effort.
  • PhoneSoap is a small device that uses UV-C light to sanitize your phone.
  • Keeping your phone clean is a good way to reduce exposure to bacteria.
  • The company claims that our cell phones hold 18 times more bacteria than a public restroom.

How often do you wash your hands? What about your face? Or your clothes?

The answer probably is - or should be (though I'm not here to tell you how to live your life): a lot.

Now how often do you wash your phone?

The answer is probably close to never, but it shouldn't be. For most of us, our phones are like appendages, traveling with us everywhere we go, accompanying us through all of our daily activities. Maybe you take a cloth to your phone now and then to wipe away the smudges and call it a day, but if you think that actually cleans it, you're in for a rude awakening.

A cell phone reportedly has 18 times more bacteria than a public restroom. That might sound crazy, but think about it - everything your hands touch touches your phone too. So, that bacteria lurking on the grocery cart you pushed, the doorknob you opened, the subway pole you held - well, you know where it ends up.

If these cringe-worthy facts just made you never want to touch your phone again, I get it. Luckily, there's a solution - and no, it doesn't involve dousing your phone in hand sanitizer.

Meet PhoneSoap, the little gadget that safely sanitizes your phone, leaving your device free of bacteria and you with some peace of mind.

It only takes ten minutes for the PhoneSoap to sanitize your phone.

How it works

PhoneSoap has a simple but effective design. It looks like a small, rectangular box - making it the perfect size to keep on your bedside table, at your office desk, or even your kitchen counter. On the outside of the box, you'll find space for three cables - the power cord, a USB, and a USB-C. To get the PhoneSoap set up, plug the included power cord into the wall, then into the PhoneSoap, and you're all set to get sanitizing. Place your phone inside the gadget and close it. Once closed, you'll see the lightning bolt power signal turn blue - this means it's charging. After ten minutes, the light will turn off, and your phone is ready to go. If you'd like to charge your phone simultaneously, you have the option to plug in your USB or USB-C cord.

PhoneSoap comes in four different models: the standard PhoneSoap 3, the PhoneSoap Pro, which sanitizes your phone twice as fast, a battery-powered model for mobile use called the PhoneSoap Go, and a version that supports wireless charging so that you don't have to use a cable to power up your device.

Here's a snapshot of how the different models compare:

PhoneSoap 3 PhoneSoap Pro PhoneSoap Go PhoneSoap Wireless
Price $79.95 $119.95 $99.95 $99.95
Sanitizing time 10 minutes 5 minutes 10 minutes 10 minutes
Charging methods USB, USB-C USB, USB-C USB, USB-C Wireless charging, USB
Number of UV-C lamps 2 4 2 2

So, you put your phone in a box and it cleans it, but how does it actually get the cleaning done? The power of PhoneSoap comes in the form of UV-C light. Inside the little box are two powerful UV-C lightbulbs. UV-C light is germicidal, meaning it breaks down the DNA of nasty bacteria so it can no longer function or reproduce. The bulbs on the top and bottom of the device, paired with the reflective interior inside the entire gadget, help achieve 360-degree disinfection - so even the tiny, hard-to-reach crevices of your phone are clean. The UV-C light is so powerful that it only needs ten minutes to get your phone clean - after that time, PhoneSoap automatically turns off, so don't worry about your phone getting overheated.

Before using PhoneSoap v. after using PhoneSoap.

Does it really work?

You've probably heard that bacteria is good for you. It boosts our immunity, right? Well, the answer is not that simple. Our bodies do count on some strains of bacteria to function correctly, but many forms of bacteria are harmful and can cause illness and infections. Laboratory tests have shown that PhoneSoap kills 99.9% of common household germs, including bacteria that leads to E.Coli, Salmonella, Staph, Flu, and the common cold.

To some, this product might seem more placebo effect than practical, but the numbers tell a different story - 99.9% is almost all of the germy grime on your phone. Plus, sanitizing with UV-C light isn't new - hospitals and laboratories have been using UV light to keep facilities sterile since the mid-20th century.

As for us, the consumers, I guess there's no way we can really tell that our phone is cleaner. What we can rely on, though, is the data from all of the testing PhoneSoap has done to gauge the effectiveness of the product, and the lab pictures they've got to accompany it (see above).

It's worth noting that PhoneSoap has not been tested against COVID-19 yet, so there's no evidence to show that it kills the virus itself. However, keeping your phone clean is still a good way to reduce exposure to bacterias that could impact your health and potentially weaken your immune system.

My experience

My family has had a communal PhoneSoap for a few years now, and it has been a great investment in our health. At $80, it seems like a lot upfront for something you don't necessarily need, but, you may need it more than you think.

My parents are the kind who always, without fail, have a bottle of hand sanitizer on them. In my house, we take a lot of other precautions to keep clean, so why should we just throw our phones (which touch all sorts of germs) on the kitchen counter, on our beds, or on the couch like it's no big deal?

It's easy to ignore the fact that our phones hold so much bacteria, but once you know the nasty facts, you may find it harder to do so. PhoneSoap gives me peace of mind that I can still keep my phone in my back pocket and use it as much as I want without having to worry that I'm transferring a host of bacteria from my screen to my face.

The process couldn't be easier. You put your phone in the PhoneSoap, close the box (make sure you see the lightning symbol turn on), and let it sit for just ten minutes. When you take it out, there will be no noticeable difference, but your phone will be cleaner than before. I also use the PhoneSoap to sanitize my wallet, keys, AirPods, and any other small items I touch multiple times in a day. If you live with roommates or family members, this product is easy and safe to share with others.

The bottom line

For better or for worse, our phones are sticking with us. And, unless you're planning on washing your hands and face before and after each time you pick up your device, all that bacteria is sticking with you too. PhoneSoap is a simple solution to keep harmful bacteria from spreading - not only from your phone to you but from you to others as well. If you live with anyone who may have a compromised immune system - young children, elderly or ill individuals - PhoneSoap could be a particularly valuable investment.

At $80, it's generally just an excellent investment for anyone. PhoneSoap is large enough to fit all phones on the market, even with a case. Additionally, you can throw in anything else that will fit - earphones, watches, even wallets.

And it's more than just peace of mind. PhoneSoap gives real results that'll help keep you and the people around you healthier. Germaphobe or not, if you're going to treat your phone like your third hand, you should clean it like one, too.

3 UV Smartphone Sanitizer & Universal Charger (button)
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Retail stock traders are 33% less active than last month - and Goldman says the slowdown could continue as the economy reopens

investing problems
  • Trading activity among retail investors has dropped by 33% in April from last month, Goldman Sachs said in a note Monday.
  • The reopening of businesses and an increase in COVID-19 vaccinations may have contributed to the slowdown.
  • Stock buying by retail investors is still above pre-pandemic levels.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Retail trading activity has slowed down by more than a third in April, in part as people focus on getting back out after a year of COVID-19 restrictions and businesses restart as millions of Americans receive vaccinations, according to Goldman Sachs.

There's been a 33% drop in broader volumes in US cash equity trading, or single-stock trading, this month from March, the investment bank said, citing data from retail brokerage Charles Schwab.

"We believe recently mixed equity performance and accelerating re-opening of the economy amid increased vaccination pace could partially explain the recent slowdown in retail activity," Goldman Sachs equity analyst Alexander Blostein wrote to clients in a note published Monday.

The slowdown by retail investors reconciles with a decline in off-exchange market share by more than 400 basis points quarter-to-date compared with the same period in the first quarter of the year, "drifting to low 40%'s and closer to historical levels after reaching as high as 50% at various points in [the first quarter]," Blostein said.

Other firms that track activity by retail investors in recent weeks have also noted a slowdown. Investors who have received $1,400 stimulus checks in March as part of the US government's COVID-19 stimulus efforts may have opted to purchase other goods and services, save the cash or pay down debt.

At the same time, the government has ramped up the availability of coronavirus vaccines to the US population, spurring many businesses to reopen their doors after closing them during the worst of the pandemic.

Still, retail trading remains significantly above pre-pandemic levels and features many structural changes such as zero-commission trading, said Blostein.

"While the degree to which retail will normalize is uncertain, further moderation in retail participation is likely to create meaningful headwinds to both US cash equity and option volumes."

Retail investing has come into focus following the surge in interest in the stock market during pandemic, as well as volatility in so-called meme stocks that were stoked on social media sites such as Reddit. Video game retailer GameStop and movie-theater chain AMC Entertainment have been among the most popular names among retail investors looking to make a profit by squeezing short-sellers in the stocks.

A study by Schwab released last week showed that 15% of all US stock markets investors began investing in 2020. The median age of new investors is 35 years.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Stocks slip from records as optimism over economic recovery pauses

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on November 20, 2019 in New York City
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on November 20, 2019 in New York City

All three major US indexes ended lower to start the week as investors take a breather from the economic recovery-fueled optimism that sent stocks to record highs on Friday.

Wall Street is now awaiting earnings later this week and key inflation data that's due Tuesday. Economists polled by Reuters expect the consumer price inflation index to jump 2.5% from 1.7% year on year in February. But there's a risk that the Fed and economists are unprepared for the magnitude of economic growth and inflation, according to Bank of America.

Semiconductor stocks swerved Monday,with Intel and AMD each falling about 4% after Nvidia announced plans to manufacture its own CPU processor. The news sent shares of Nvidia surging by as much as 4%.

Here's where US indexes stood at the 4:00 p.m. ET close on Monday:

Canaccord Genuity upgraded Tesla to a "buy" rating on Monday, with analyst Jed Dorsheimer explaining that Tesla's budding energy storage business has long-term potential. Tesla jumped as high as 3.9%.

Veteran investor Danny Moses compared the stock-market boom to the dot-com bubble, underscored the dangers of excessive leverage and liquidity, and called for the Federal Reserve to temper its stimulus efforts in a recent interview. Here are his 16 best quotes.

Bitcoin rose as much as 2.6% to $61,229 as the crypto world prepares for Coinbase's direct listing on Wednesday. The surge took the coin close to its all-time high of $61,742 reached on March 1.

West Texas Intermediate crude climbed 0.7%, to $59.71 per barrel. Brent crude, oil's international benchmark, rose 0.5% to $63.30 a barrel.

Gold slipped 0.8%, to $1,731.70 per ounce.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The 6 best spring cleaning products for kitchen and laundry appliances in 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Expecting fresh, clean clothes from a smelly washer, or sparkling plates from a dishwasher crusted with hard water minerals is a fool's errand. All you'll get is frustration and disappointment.

Luckily, there are easy-to-use products available that can restore appliances back to their prime. Many use natural ingredients and are not toxic to the environment or your lungs. Just a seasonal cleaning will usually remove build-up and flush away odors, allowing the appliances to do their jobs well. Of course, if your household has some big messes, you may need to clean the appliances more often.

Along with my own housekeeping, I've tested cleaning products for decades as a home economist for companies and publications. I'm always looking for the most effective, easiest to use, and the best value in products and these are the best ones for the job when it comes to cleaning appliances.

Here are the best cleaning products for kitchen and laundry appliances in 2021

The best overall
best cleaning products for kitchen and laundry 2021 lemishine

If you are looking for one product that can take care of odors and soil build-up in your dishwasher, garbage disposal, and washing machine, Lemi Shine Multi-Purpose Appliance Cleaner is your best bet.

Pros: Non-toxic, uses natural ingredients, fresh scent, pre-measured individual packets, simple to use, suitable for multiple appliances

Cons: Does not clean the outside of the appliances

Even with all of the water and detergents that pass through the dishwasher, garbage disposal, and washing machine, they can still accumulate a layer of residue that traps soil, odor-causing bacteria, and minerals from hard water. When all this gunk clings to the inside of the appliance, it cannot perform optimally and causes problems.

LemiShine has developed a formula, based on crystallized citric extracts, that works to cut through that residue. By adding an envelope of the powder to an appliance and running a cycle with hot water, you will quickly have cleaner dishes and laundry, and odor-free garbage disposal.

While LemiShine offers individual appliance cleaners, the Multi-Purpose is the best value because of the versatility and price. I keep some on hand for quick and thorough cleanings anytime I see or sniff a problem.


The best for dishwashers
best cleaning products for kitchen and laundry 2021 finish dishwasher

Easy to use and a top performer, Finish In-Wash Dishwasher Cleaner can be used while you wash a load of dishes. No extra cycle needed.

Pros: Can be used in a dishwasher loaded with dirty dishes, no wrapper to remove, effectively removes grease deposits, limescale, and odors

Cons: Excellent choice for regular cleaning, but may not remove years of heavy build-up

Stop and think of what lurks on your dishes when you stick them into the dishwasher — grease, bacteria, and crusty food. A good detergent and the volume of hot water swirling in the dishwasher cut through all of that gunk, leaving the dishes clean. But where does the messy stuff go?

Most gets flushed away, but some clings to the sides, seals, and components of the dishwasher. Eventually, the build-up becomes too much and redeposits on your dishes. No one needs that.

That's where Finish In-Wash Dishwasher Cleaner comes in to cut through the limescale, grease, and fatty deposits that you can see, and also those in the hidden parts of the dishwasher. All that crud can clog pumps, drains, and pipes, which reduce the performance of your machine.

Every three months or so, I simply place one of the tablets in the bottom of the dishwasher tub when I'm ready to run a full wash cycle. There are no wrappers to remove or a need to empty the dishwasher of dirty dishes. Since Finish Quantum Max Powerball Tablets is rated as one of the best dishwasher detergents, using the Finish In-Wash Dishwasher Cleaner was the next natural step.

The best for garbage disposals
best cleaning products for kitchen and laundry 2021 clr garbage disposal

The fun-to-watch foaming action of CLR Garbage Disposal Foaming Cleaner and Freshener leaves the disposal free of greasy residue and odors.

Pros: Non-toxic ingredients, simple to use, effectively removes odors and residue from disposal

Cons: Does not remove clogs or jams in the disposal

Maybe it's because I always loved the vinegar and baking soda volcanoes at the science fair, but watching the foaming action of CLR Garbage Disposal Foaming Cleaner and Freshener makes me happy. Happy because I know that the foam is helping to dislodge bits of food and grease that is causing my garbage disposal to smell funky.
The individual, premeasured packet contains citric acid and sodium bicarbonate, along with other ingredients that help cut through the gunk and leave a fresh clean scent. It is so easy to use but you should follow the directions to allow the ingredients time to be effective. The cleaning time is around seven minutes, and there's no need to scrub — just watch the science experiment happen.
I use CLR Garbage Disposal Foaming Cleaner and Freshener when I get a whiff of something foul. It should be noted that these packets will not remove a severe clog or jam in the disposal.

The best for washing machines
best cleaning products for kitchen and laundry 2021 washing machine lemishine

If your laundry isn't smelling as fresh as you'd like, Lemi Shine Washing Machine Cleaner will remove funky odors from the washer that are transferring to your towels and clothes.

Pros: Effectively removes body soil, bacteria, and detergent residue from the washing machine drum, includes wipes for hard-to-reach areas like door seals and the outside of the appliance, non-toxic, and pleasant citrus scent

Cons: Not widely available in all mass-market stores

Today's high-efficiency washing machines use around 14 gallons of water and hold larger loads, and we use more cold and warm water to protect synthetic fabrics. That leaves lots of opportunity for body soil, product residue, and bacteria to cling to the inside of the washer drum and rubber seals that protect it from leaking.

All that gunk can redeposit on your clothes, making them less than clean and fresh. That's why you need to clean your washer and the best cleaner is Lemi Shine Washing Machine Cleaner.

Using non-toxic citric acids, the powder strips away the build-up, and you even get a handy wipe to use after each cleaning cycle to capture any residue on the seals and to wipe down the outside of the washer where drips and soil can accumulate. I also love the fresh scent. 


The best for ovens
best cleaning products for kitchen and laundry 2021 easy off oven cleaner

Spills happen but Easy-Off Professional Max Fume Free Oven Cleaner will take care of the worst messes without burning your lungs or making you scrub forever.

Pros: Fume-free formula, removes heavy, baked-on stains, safe for electric and gas ovens

Cons: Does not work quickly, requires at least 40 minutes to work effectively

I'm a pie baker who can't seem to remember not to overload the pie plate with filling. Sure enough, the pie bubbles over onto the oven floor. Fortunately, I know that clean-up can be simple with Easy-Off Professional Max Fume Free Oven Cleaner. Until I found this product, I dreaded cleaning the oven because of the fumes. No more.

The key to using it is having a cold oven. Just spray on the cleaner and wait at least 40 minutes (longer is even better). The grease and spills will wipe away easily. It's safe to use in electric and gas ovens and oven racks — even ovens that proclaim to be self-cleaning.


The best for ceramic and glass stovetops
best cleaning products for kitchen and laundry 2021 weiman stovetop

Smooth glass and ceramic cooktops are prone to scratching. Weiman Cooktop Cleaner Max can safely get rid of cooked-on spills and tackle the stains and leave your cooktop scratch-free.

Pros: Removes the worst burned-on messes and grease effectively, does not scratch glass and ceramic surfaces, comes with a scrubbing pad

Cons: Does not remove scratches, not readily found in all mass-market stores

After years of the standard enamel and stainless cooktops that could stand up to scrubbing from a steel wool pad, I ended up with a smooth ceramic cooktop. It looks sleek and conducts heat well, but removing the overflow from a boiling pot was a challenge until I found Weiman Cooktop Cleaner Max.

The micro-bead technology gives just the right amount of abrasive power to remove burned-on food and grease but doesn't scratch the surface. After cleaning and rinsing, there are no streaks or watermarks left behind. The lemon-scented paste formula is applied with a cleaning pad that is included, which stores conveniently on the top of the container.


Check out our other guides to household cleaning products


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Philosopher Slavoj Žižek says Wall Street Bets' GameStop squeeze was revolutionary because of how it focused on deliberately creating chaos, rather than anything fundamental

Slavoj Zizek
  • Slavoj Žižek says the GameStop short squeeze was revolutionary because it didn't focus on fundamentals.
  • Žižek is a political philosopher who holds positions at the University of Ljubljana and the University of London.
  • Žižek said he sees parallels between a recent presidential campaign slogan "corruption for everybody" and the GME saga.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell.

Slavoj Žižek joined Bloomberg's "Odd Lots" podcast with Joe Weisenthal recently to discuss the r/wallstreetbets GameStop saga and his essay for the Spectator titled "Corruption for Everybody."

Žižek, a researcher at the Department of Philosophy of the University of Ljubljana and the international director of the Birkbeck Institute at the University of London, is known for his cultural critiques and communist beliefs.

The Slovenian-born political philosopher has long been a staunch critic of capitalism, and in his latest interview, he once again hits at a central issue of the system: corruption.

Žižek normally doesn't involve himself in stocks or the market, but the philosopher said the populist logic in the GameStop movement drew him in.

Žižek sees parallels between the GameStop short squeeze phenomenon and a Presidential campaign by the Croatian movie director Dario Jurican in 2019, wherein Jurican used the slogan "corruption for everybody."

The philosopher says that the campaign promised normal people would get to profit from cronyism, and although voters knew it was a joke, there was significant support for the campaign.

Reddit's r/wallstreetbets is a similar phenomenon, according to Žižek.

"We are in a situation in which Wall Street, the model of corrupt speculation and inside-trading, always by definition resisting state intervention and regulation, now opposes unfair competition and calls for state intervention," Žižek wrote in "Corruption for Everybody."

"In short, wallstreetbets is doing openly what Wall Street has been doing in secret for decades," Žižek added.

In Žižek's mind, the GameStop phenomenon was revolutionary because it focused on creating chaos in the markets and giving the power of "corrupt speculation" to the retail trader.

Reddit traders' investments in GameStop weren't based on anything fundamental, in Žižek's view. Instead, the traders' goal was to band together and bring about a "truly populist capitalism" with the power of "corruption" going to the people.

"The basic idea is, 'we don't care what really goes on at GameStop, or if they have a certain new product or whatever. We just want to show the market that success is not the reality of production but the enigmatic character of our act,'" Žižek said.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The 10 best pairs of men's shorts for the warm weather ahead


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Best men's shorts from Capital Short
  • Everyone needs shorts in their wardrobe, including denim, chino, and performance pairs.
  • The best men's shorts come in a wide variety of fabrics and colors.
  • Our favorite shorts come from menswear brands including Olivers, Bonobos, and Banks Journal.
Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Having a good pair of shorts isn't a luxury - it's a necessity. With summer temperatures regularly reaching into the low 100s, it's only practical to wear shorts instead of pants. And so, it's no surprise that the variety of men's shorts has grown to encompass a huge range of styles - from solid denim options to performance fabrics and classic twill - worn for a range of reasons.

The best men's shorts often sport a variety of features that complement their styles and silhouettes as part of an outfit. Some offer slim fits and sleek lines and these work great with more refined and traditional tops such as sweaters and button ups, while others offer more texture fabrics in louder colors, lending themselves to being paired with t-shirts or hoodies. Whichever style of short you're searching for, whether jeans, chinos, or cargo, there's a good chance in our list of best men's shorts.

These are the best men's shorts in 2021:

Banks Journal Big Bear Walkshorts
The best men’s shorts - Banks Journal

Bold color and a textured stretch corduroy fabric on these Banks Journal Big Bear Walkshorts will help you stand out from the chino-clad crowd. 

More than anything else, these shorts make a bold statement with their red-earth, desert dusk color crafted from mid-weight stretch corduroy. In addition to their standout color, these shorts win for comfort, thanks to an elastic waistband that offers flexibility and ease of movement. The above-the-knee length is also flattering on most heights. The fit is average to slightly-roomy when the large front-slant pockets and back patch pocket are empty, leaving plenty of space for your phone, wallet, keys, and more. 

Big Bear Walkshorts (small) Levi's 505™ Regular Fit
The best men's shorts - Levi's

A huge range of sizes and the long inseam of the Levi's 505 Denim Short offer a classic and enduring take on one of summer's favorite styles

You can't get more classic than a pair of denim shorts in summer. Paired with a white t-shirt and low tops, these shorts can carry you just about anywhere. This particular pair serves up a huge range of sizes, a lengthy inseam for guys who like a more modest look, and the long-lasting durability that comes with Levi's heavyweight denim. These shorts sit at your natural waist, meaning you can tuck in your polo or tee easily.

505 Denim Short (small) Club Monaco Baxter Shorts
The best men's shorts - Club Monaco

Classy and casual, the Club Monaco Baxter Shorts can be dressed up or down, making them a deserving summer style staple.

With an inseam on the shorter side, a slim fit, and a straight silhouette, these shorts present as traditional with a hint of youthful energy. As such, they work just as well with a nice sweater for a casual cafe lunch as they do with a bold t-shirt and a chunky sneaker. The stretch twill fabric is light and sporty enough to keep you cool in the heat, while a button closure and zip fly maintain the shorts' traditional styling.

Baxter Shorts (small) Everlane The 7" Slim Fit Performance Chino Short
The best men’s shorts - Everlane Slim Fit Chino Short

You can't go wrong with a pair of light shorts that can easily be dressed up or down like Everlane's The 7" Slim Fit performance Chino Short. 

Every guy needs a classic tan or light-colored chino short in his closet, and he can do no better than this pair from Everlane. Pair with a polo, a button-down, a wool t-shirt, or a bohemian top and any type of loafer and you'll look at home everywhere. A four-way stretch material differentiates these chinos from many others by allowing more freedom of movement, whether that be in a game of croquet or a round of enthusiastic karaoke. 

The 7" Slim Fit (small) Bonobos Stretch Washed Chino Shorts
The best men's shorts - Bonobos Stretch Washed Chino Shorts

Tiny lobsters pattern these ultra comfortable Stretch washed Chino Shorts from Bonobos, one of our favorite men's pants brands. 

Two inseam options make Bonobos' chinos a rarity, but add in a playful lobster pattern and these shorts are downright unique. Grab a pair to stand out from everyone else in your friend circle and let them know what a carefree guy you are. A cinched waist and a side-snap fly add a hefty dose of structure, creating an imposing silhouette that adds a dash of seriousness to these otherwise jolly shorts. 

Stretch Washed Chino Shorts (small, Preferred: Bonobos) Cos Tailored Swim Shorts
The best men's shorts - Cos

There's nothing better than being able to go from beach to the bar - and you can do just that with the Cos Tailored Swim Shorts

While swim trunks wouldn't normally be found on a list of best shorts, this pair from Cos straddles the line between swimwear and casual everyday wear. Simple and slim, these shorts feature a timeless and flattering cut made from a fast-drying fabric. A mesh interior lining holds everything in place, while a single back pocket and two side pockets make sure you've got room for all your necessary accessories. A zip-fly and a snap button front fastener combine with the suit's cool cut to almost completely disguise the fact that this also belongs in the pool.

Tailored Swim Shorts (small) Lululemon Commission Short Classic Oxford
The best men’s shorts - Lululemon

High-performance fabric and a classic chino look make Lululemon's Commission Short Classic Oxford your next summer favorite. 

Sporting the traditional look of a classic chino short with slant front pockets and a button fly closure, this pair diverges from that traditional set-up in its construction. Built from sweat-wicking, quick-drying fabric, and featuring the brand's unique ergonomic gusset to remove tension on the crotch fabric, you can be confident that any major movement you do won't result in a ripped-pants scenario. Another bonus? The fabric is imbued with No-Stink Zinc™ tech to keep it smelling fresh between washes. 

Commission Short Classic Oxford (small) Olivers Capital Short
The best men’s shorts - Olivers Capital Short

Loose-fitting but not baggy, the Olivers Capital Short comes in twelve colors to highlight it's classic shape — great for any guy who wants to step away from tan, black, and gray.

No matter your leg shape, these classic shorts look great on just about any guy. Boasting a casual fit and slick silhouette, the Capital Short is as good looking as it is functional with its all-over stretch weave and water repellent fabric. Wear it on your daily commute or on a sunny weekend running errands to put its comfort, coolness, and fit to the test.

Capital Short (small) Ripton & Co. V3 Performance Stretch Jean Short
The best men's shorts - Ripton & Co Performance Short

Fashion forward and performance-oriented, the Ripton & Co. V3 Performance Stretch Jean Short is a multi-talented masterpiece.

If you're looking for a pair of stretch performance jeans with the ability to go for a swim and dry quickly afterwards, look no further than this pair from Ripton & Co.. Ultra soft and extremely stretchy, the denim these shorts are made from is guaranteed to hold its shape — even with repeated rough wears. Throw these on before you bike across town or wear them on a quick hike or city stroll.

V3 Performance Stretch Jean Short (small) Kuhl Ambush Cargo Short
The best men's shorts - Kuhl Ambush Cargo Short

With more pockets than you'll know what to do with, the Kuhl Ambush Cargo Short is the perfect companion to a hard day of work. 

Sometimes you just need a pair of shorts with a ridiculous amount of pockets. With this pair by Kuhl, you'll have nine in total to choose from. But that only begins to scratch the surface of all the features these heavy-duty cargo shorts have to offer. Other bonuses include sun protection, a ventilation system to keep you cool, a gusseted crotch to prevent blow-outs, and a chamois-lined waistband ensuring all-day comfort. Great for everything from hiking to construction, any guy can find good use for a pair of shorts this solid.

Ambush Cargo Short (small)
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Vizio's Elevate is more than just a soundbar - it's one of the best $1,000 Dolby Atmos home theater systems you can buy


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VIZIO OLED TV and Elevate soundbar

  • Vizio's Elevate is more than a typical soundbar; it's a full home theater system for under $1,000.
  • The device features unique rotating speakers and immersive 5.1.4 Dolby Atmos performance.
  • The Elevate is perfect for buyers who don't have the cash or space for larger speakers and a receiver.
Table of Contents: Masthead StickyElevate 5.1.4 Soundbar (small)

Putting together a proper Dolby Atmos home theater system can be a complicated and expensive task. For a traditional setup, you need multiple speakers and a separate AV receiver to power and process everything.

Though this type of configuration offers the best performance, there are many buyers who simply don't have the space and budget for that kind of investment. And that's where a Dolby Atmos soundbar system like the Vizio Elevate comes in.

The Elevate is designed to offer a full 5.1.4 surround sound solution in a convenient package, complete with a soundbar, satellite speakers, and a subwoofer. The system comes with everything you need and it even features built-in amplification so you don't have to buy a receiver.

With its up-firing speakers, the Elevate can make it seem like sound effects are coming from above your head. The front speakers also feature a clever rotating design, which allows them to automatically switch from up-firing to front-firing positions depending on what you're watching.

I've been reviewing home theater products for nearly a decade, and after spending a month with the Elevate, I've come away impressed by the soundbar's performance and value. The system's software is a little glitchy, but you'd be hard pressed to find a better 5.1.4 home theater package for this price.

Vizio Elevate Soundbar specifications

Vizio Elevate Soundbar

Package includes: Soundbar, two satellite speakers, 8-inch wireless subwoofer
Channels: 5.1.4
Formats: Dolby Atmos, DTS:X
Ports: One HDMI eRC, two HDMI inputs, 3.5mm input, Optical input, USB
Connectivity: Chromecast built-in, Bluetooth
Features: Rotating front drivers
Remote: Backlit remote included, works with SmartCast app
Voice assistant: Works with separate Alexa and Google Assistant products
Soundbar dimensions: 2.64 (H) x 48 (W) x 6.5 (D) inches


The Elevate features a sleek, industrial design with an all black finish and aluminum build. Though a system like this is compact compared to a traditional home theater setup, keep in mind that the Elevate and its subwoofer are fairly large compared to most soundbar packages.

The system offers support for a total of 5.1.4 channels. This means there are five ear-level channels, one subwoofer, and four up-firing channels for height effects.

The soundbar itself has a left, center, right, left height, and right height channel. The satellites then serve as your left surround and right surround speakers, and each has their own height channel.

The height channels work by angling sound up to bounce effects off your ceiling. This makes it sound as if the audio is coming from above your head. Vizio takes the Elevate further by incorporating special rotating drivers.

Vizoi Elevate soundbar review rotating speakers
The Vizio Elevate features a rotating speaker that can switch between up-firing and front-firing audio.

The front height speakers can automatically rotate up or forward depending on what you're listening to. When they're up you can hear overhead effects. When they're down, they help to create a wider front soundstage.

Various inputs are included on the back of the bar, including one HDMI eARC to receive audio from your TV, as well as two HDMI inputs to connect additional sources, like a game console or Blu-ray player. Full 4K HDR video passthrough is supported, and the Elevate supports both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X decoding. DTS:X was incompatible with older Vizio soundbars, so it's nice to have on this model.

Vizio also includes a handy remote with a small text display to scroll through settings and modes. Unlike previous models, this year's remote is even backlit.


Vizio Elevate review
The system includes a soundbar, two satellite speakers, and a subwoofer.

To get the system set up, you simply need to plug the power cables in, connect the soundbar to your TV, and run the satellite speaker cables to the subwoofer. The subwoofer wirelessly connects to the soundbar. Though having to use cables for the satellites is less convenient than a fully wireless design, the included speaker wires are long enough to suit small and medium rooms.

To update the firmware and enable Chromecast music streaming you can download the Vizio SmartCast mobile app. I had some issues getting the app to find the soundbar during my initial setup, but after restarting it was able to connect.

You can adjust settings using the remote or the SmartCast app. This includes setting your preference for the rotating speakers. For the most accurate audio experience with movies, I recommend using the Elevate Auto setting and the Direct EQ mode.

This will automatically angle the Elevate speakers up when you listen to Dolby Atmos or DTS:X audio. The height speakers will then automatically angle forward when you listen to music, movies, or shows that don't support overhead audio.


Vizio Elevate Dolby atmos performance
The Elevate's up-firing speakers bounce sound off the ceiling to create overhead effects.

For a 5.1.4 soundbar in this price range, the Vizio Elevate delivers fantastic sound quality. To be clear, this isn't an audiophile system that can equal a dedicated home theater rig with floorstanding and bookshelf speakers, but as a space-saving and cost-saving alternative, it's a winner.

The bar itself has good separation and imaging, while the inclusion of separate satellite speakers provides genuine surround sound immersion. The up-firing channels also do a solid job simulating overhead sound, but the effect can be hit and miss depending on where you sit.

To test the system's performance I watched a bunch of Dolby Atmos and DTS:X titles on Blu-ray and streaming services, including "Jumanji: The Next Level," "Vertigo," "The Mandalorian," and various clips from demo discs designed to show off systems like this.

Throughout all my testing, the Elevate engaged with an enveloping dome of sound, fully engulfing the room with audio from all directions. Having the heights in the front and back helps to avoid any gaps, creating a complete Atmos experience.

When switching to regular surround sound, the system performs equally well, rotating the heights down to create a wider front soundstage. Music also sounds good, though tracks can sound a little bright and small when using the Direct EQ mode. Switching to the Music preset opens things up nicely, creating a bit more depth.

The wireless subwoofer offers ample kick for medium-sized rooms. That said, I find the sub to be a little too aggressive. Room-shaking bass makes sense during explosions, but when low frequencies become overpowering watching a Netflix rom-com like "Holidate," you know something is a little off.

Some key bass cues I use as test material in "Inception" and "The Tree of Life" also sound a little too harsh, leading to some unwanted vibrations that make the subwoofer stick out in my room. I ultimately prefer to have the Elevate's sub adjusted five levels below the default setting. This helps dial it in, but can rob the system of some punch. In other words, finding just the right balance is a little trickier than I'd like.

Still, the overall experience you get with the Elevate is genuinely impressive. I typically use an Onkyo 5.1.4 system with a dedicated receiver, separate bookshelf speakers, and a 10-inch subwoofer. Though I still prefer that setup, the Vizio Elevate's performance isn't that far off, and it's a much simpler and cheaper solution.

Problems with the Elevate Soundbar

As impressed as I am with the Elevate, the system isn't perfect. I've encountered some odd glitches here and there, as well as some issues with the soundbar's software.

After getting the Elevate set up, the first thing I did was boot up an episode of "The Mandalorian." Despite everything being connected properly, there was no audio and the Elevate's remote stopped working. Suddenly, the subwoofer kicked in at full blast for no reason forcing me to quickly turn the system off for fear of angering my neighbors.

This strange glitch only happened once, however, so I consider it more of an anomaly than a major issue. There have been a few other times when the remote becomes unresponsive, though, and the SmartCast app loses connection with the soundbar occasionally.

The rotating drivers work just fine during my testing, but I 'm a little concerned there could be some issues with their longevity after lots of use. Finally, there is a faint high-pitched noise audible if you put your ears close to the satellite speakers. This isn't noticeable during regular playback, though, so I don't consider it to be a real problem.

While not ideal, I don't think any of these hiccups outweigh the Elevate's many strengths.

Should you buy it?

Vizio Elevate soundbar lifestyle

The Vizio Elevate is a good buy for anyone who wants a genuine 5.1.4 Dolby Atmos home theater system under $1,000.

Piecing together an equivalent package with separate speakers and an AV receiver is basically impossible in this price range. In fact, most 9.2 channel receivers - which is what you'd need to power 5.1.4 speakers - cost at least $1,000 on their own.

If you have that kind of cash, you can configure a larger speaker setup that sounds better than the Elevate. But, that kind of investment simply isn't realistic for everyone. Conversely, you can find plenty of smaller and cheaper soundbars, but they just don't offer the level of immersion you get with the Elevate.

The Elevate is designed for home theater fans who want to spend less and save a little space without losing out on a full Dolby Atmos surround sound experience. And in that sense, it delivers exceptional value and performance.

What are your alternatives?

When it comes to similar Dolby Atmos soundbars with satellite speakers, the Elevate has some competition from brands like Samsung, as well alternative models from Vizio itself.

Most notably, Samsung's HW-Q950T offers a similar setup with dedicated surround speakers, four up-firing channels, and a wireless subwoofer. Samsung's model even adds side-firing drivers in order to simulate extra surround channels, enabling support for a 9.1.4 system.

That said, the HW-Q950T lacks Vizio's unique rotating speakers. The HW-Q950T is also typically sold for at least $350 more than the Elevate.

It's also worth considering two of Vizio's cheaper 5.1.4 soundbars: the SB46514-F6 and the SB36514-G6. The SB36514-G6 is smaller compared to the Elevate, while the SB46514-F6 is more similar in size. Both of these models lack eARC and DTS:X support, however, and neither have rotating speakers or a backlit remote.

The bottom line

Vizio Elevate Dolby Atmos soundbar

If you don't have the space or money to invest in a traditional home theater setup, then the Vizio Elevate 5.1.4 soundbar is the next best thing.

For a retail price of $1,000, you get everything you need for a complete Dolby Atmos experience - no costly AV receiver required. And it sounds fantastic for the money. The system is even frequently on sale for around $900, which makes it an even better buy.

Pros: Full 5.1.4 Dolby Atmos support, immersive audio performance, DTS:X capabilities, unique rotating drivers, affordable price compared to a comparable setup with separate speakers and a receiver

Cons: Sporadic software and signal glitches, some concerns about longevity of the rotating function, subwoofer lacks balance, no voice assistant built-in

Elevate 5.1.4 Soundbar (button)
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John Boehner calls Trump 'a guy who's unemployed' and 'has nothing else to do but cause trouble'

John Boehner
Former House Speaker John Boehner.
  • During an interview on ABC's "The View," John Boehner called out Trump's post-presidential behavior.
  • "Here's a guy who's unemployed, has nothing else to do but cause trouble," he said.
  • Boehner expressed disappointment that Trump has misled his supporters about the election results.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Former GOP House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio on Monday blasted former President Donald Trump as an "unemployed" individual who is out to "cause trouble" after losing his reelection bid last year.

During an appearance on ABC's "The View," Boehner, who is promoting his forthcoming book, "On the House: A Washington Memoir," was asked by co-host Sara Haines when the GOP would have a "wake-up call" regarding the former president's continued false claims that he won the 2020 presidential election.

At the Republican National Committee's donor summit in Florida last weekend, Trump reportedly repeated the claim that the election was "stolen" from him.

"Here's a guy who's unemployed, has nothing else to do but cause trouble," Boehner said. "Clearly, it's obvious to me that he's not going away."

After the November general election and even after President Joe Biden was officially declared the winner, the Trump campaign unsuccessfully sought to overturn the election results in a range of swing states.

Read more: Introducing Todd Young, the most important senator you've never heard of

Boehner criticized Trump for continuing to push the false narrative that voter fraud cost him the election - even in the aftermath of the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot prompted by his repeated lies.

"The president abused the loyalty and the trust that voters had placed in him by perpetuating this noise," he said. "It was really one of the sadder things I've seen in the last 40 years in politics."

When Haines asked Boehner why current Republican officeholders couldn't be straightforward with Americans about Trump's rhetoric, the former speaker didn't have a clear answer.

"I don't know," he said. "I'm not in the political world these days. I try to, frankly, stay as far away from it as I can."

However, Boehner stressed that the party needed to return to its core principles.

"I think what Republicans need to do is act like Republicans," he said. "I'm a conservative Republican, but I'm not crazy. I believe in fiscal responsibility and a strong national defense. We need to rally the party around what being a Republican means."

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The 7 best camping stoves for backpacking trips or car camping

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky
  • Camp stoves let backpackers and car campers alike brew fresh coffee and prepare their daily meals.
  • The best should be highly portable and easy to light with a lighter or match, or have their own ignitor.
  • Our top pick, MSR's PocketRocket Deluxe, is compact enough for backpackers, easy to operate, and has a built-in igniter.

A warm sleeping bag and dependable headlamp are certainly vital for smart and comfortable camping, but when you're sleeping on the ground and haven't showered in days, there really is nothing like a hot cup of coffee on a brisk morning (with the exception, perhaps, of a hot meal at the end of a long day).

Neither of these is possible, however, without access to a reliable camp stove.

With the right camp stove, not only can you expect fresh-brewed java in the morning or a warm meal at night but you can rely on it for a range of uses; maybe you want to grill some fresh fish minutes after you've pulled it from the stream, or you want to whip up a mug of hot cocoa (or a hot toddy) to sip by the campfire. If you're in the backcountry, a stove can save you as boiling stream water is one of the best ways to ensure it's safe to drink.

Having spent over two decades car camping, backpacking, and everything in between, I've grown to rely heavily on my camp stove. No matter how far off-grid I might find myself, a camp stove helps keep me nourished and ready to take on whatever the day has in store - be it 20 miles of hiking to my next campsite, or a day spent relaxing around a campfire.

My reliance on making sure I have a proper camp kitchen setup means I've tested my fair share of camp stoves through the years - and some remain a fixture in my camp kit today. Below, I've rounded up seven of my favorites from brands like MSR, BioLite, and Coleman, all with their own advantages across a variety of camp styles and use cases.

At the end of this guide, I've also included some tips on how to shop for a camp stove, as well as the the testing methodology I used in deciding which made the cut.

Here are the best camp stoves:

The best overall
msr pocketrocket deluxe 1

The MSR PocketRocket Deluxe is a compact and lightweight stove that fits inside a coffee mug but has a convenient auto igniter and simmering capability.

Pros: Lightweight and compact, self-igniting, simmers well

Cons: Not the best in high-wind without a screen

You shouldn't need to carry an extra piece of gear to make a spark, yet, many camping stoves still rely on matches or a lighter for a flame. One of the best features of the MSR PocketRocket Deluxe is that it has a built-in automatic piezo igniter that's cased in steel for reliability.

Despite its small size and weight (two other key pros), the PocketRocket Deluxe is no slouch. It can boil a liter of water in less than four minutes. The burner is adjustable, so you can lower the heat for a simmer — something that's hard to achieve with a one-setting burner. There's also a built-in pressure regulator to ensure you get reliable and fast cooking until the gas canister is depleted.

As long as you place the stove (with gas canister attached) on a level surface, it supports anything from a frying pan to a small cup. Like all lightweight backpacking stoves, the PocketRocket Deluxe will only run on self-sealing isobutane fuel canisters.

If you're flying to a destination, just pack the PocketRocket and stop by a local outdoors retailer after you've arrived to pick one up (you can also get advice on where to camp, hike, and climb, if you aren't familiar with an area).

I've used this stove extensively, as well as other PocketRocket variants. I like the simplicity of the design, and with the deluxe version, I now have the convenience of a push-start igniter; the igniter adds an extra 10 grams when compared to the standard PocketRocket, but it's totally worth it.

What I also like is MSR's warranty: Even after years of abuse, MSR stands by its products and offers extremely economical repair or replacement options.

Whether I'm camping in my car or on a complicated thru-hiking trip, the PocketRocket Deluxe's excellent durability and the convenience of the built-in igniter make it one item I now bring along.

The best on a budget

The Coleman Bottle Top Propane Stove acts like a standard stovetop burner, and it's powerful, rugged, and well-priced.

Pros: Low price point, long burn time, easy flame output adjustment

Cons: Very heavy and bulky

With camp stoves, it's easy to look at the price and think that's a steal — but you have to also factor in camp stove fuel, which some gas stations and outdoor retailers like to gouge you on. But the best field stove in the world is just a paperweight without fuel, so buy it you will, regardless of the price.

With the Coleman Bottle Top Propane Stove, those canisters of propane fuel are surprisingly low-priced — you can often get a two-pack of the 16-ounce fuel cylinder for less than 10 bucks. One such tank will burn for two hours at full blast and as long as eight or nine hours on a low setting. So if you want to make campsite risotto, go for it. Oh, and the stove itself is affordable, too.

Flame control is remarkably easy with this stove, just twist that large plastic knob all the way open for a roaring 10,000-BTU output or dial it back for hours of simmering. And thanks to the deep bowl shape and generous wind baffles, this stove will maintain a consistent burn in all but the most powerful gusts of wind. The burner is large and stable enough to accommodate an 8-inch pan or pot, so you really can almost treat it like a standard stovetop.

I used one of these stoves for several years and still keep one on hand in case the stove in my house ever has a problem or for some sort of apocalyptic nightmare during which I still wanted to cook pasta. But you'll probably never see me bringing this stove along for another hike or climb.

Why? Weight and size. This stove weighs more than two pounds, with the canister adding another three pounds or more when filled. That's heavier than some tents and sleeping pads combined. So while I highly recommend this stove for car campers or emergency preparedness, it's a poor choice for climbers or trekkers. — Steven John

The best charcoal-burning

The Hero Grill System is an easy-to-use charcoal-burning grill that heats up in under 10 minutes, comes with a non-stick ceramic cooking surface, and allows for up to an hour of grilling. 

Pros: Charcoal pods have instant light coating that makes them easy to ignite, comes with its own carrying case, bamboo cutting board, and bamboo spatula, coals stay hot for up to an hour

Cons: Requires more cleanup than a normal camp stove, single-use charcoal pods are $40 for a two-pack

Almost all camp stoves use some sort of gas like propane or butane for heat, but the Hero Grill System leans on one of the most traditional forms of fuel: charcoal. And if you're a fan of using charcoal to grill at home, this is the stove you want for car camping.

The Hero Grill System relies on two main parts for operation, the grill itself which is a non-stick ceramic grill with foldable legs to prop it up, and a box of charcoal pods that slides underneath. The pods can be lit using a match or lighter and take just 10 or so minutes to completely heat up. I found that lighting just two of the corners worked well in igniting the entire box (instead of needing to light all four). 

It does need to be placed on any non-combustible surface, though I used one of the picnic tables that are often placed at a campsite and it worked just fine. However, this means you shouldn't just place it on grass — I recommend packing along a small table or something similar that you can place on the ground to set the stove on top of. 

Being as used to normal camp stoves as I am, I was quite impressed with the Hero Grill. It's not often you're able to make charcoal barbecued food while camping (unless you bring actual charcoal, which can be a mess), so it was a nice change of pace. I liked how easy it was to light the grill and how well it cooked everything from burgers and hot dogs to grilled vegetables.

Although cleanup is a little more involved than a normal propane stove, it still was relatively easy to just douse the charcoal before throwing the box away. I will say that a downside would be to have to replace the charcoal pod box after every use, and replacements cost $40 for a two-pack. You do have to replace propane and charcoal for a normal grill, but spending $20 for one hour of grilling can get expensive.

The best wood-burning
biolite camp stove

The BioLite CampStove 2 cooks your meal and charges your phone at the same time thanks to a built-in, thermoelectric generator fueled by heat.

Pros: Charges small devices, built-in fans regulate heat, works with myriad accessories

Cons: Getting initial fire burning can be frustrating

When you're out there in the wilderness, you shouldn't be staring at your phone; you should be looking at the stars, the mountains, or the valleys and such. That said, keeping a charged phone is important for safety — and the occasional photo.

Keeping a rechargeable flashlight fully powered is always a good idea, and those GoPro camera batteries always seem to need recharging, don't they?

Maintaining battery life in all your devices while camping means carrying battery packs, using a solar charger, or firing up something you're already likely traveling with: Your stove.

The BioLite CampStove 2 is a wood-burning stove that has a built-in generator capable of producing 3 watts of electricity while the fire is hot. That's enough power to charge small devices, illuminate a Biolite lamp, or to charge the unit's internal battery for later use when the fire isn't burning.

Besides providing power, it's also a damn good stove. With a decent fire built up, the BioLite CampStove 2 brings a liter of water to boil in less than five minutes and produces plentiful heat for cooking. In fact, there are compact fans inside the burn chamber that you can set at four different speeds to increase or decrease the intensity of the heat.

The best fast boiling
jetboil flash camping stove

The Jetboil Flash gets a lot of water really hot, really fast. If you primarily rely on your stove to make hot drinks and rehydrate meals, this is the stove for you.

Pros: Boils water quickly, contains all the parts inside the pot, push-button ignition

Cons: Can be hard to clean, can't be used with other pots or pans easily

When I get back from a long day on the trail, I want the most food in the shortest amount of time. This means pouring hot water onto couscous or a dehydrated meal. If it's the mornings, then it's coffee posthaste.

For these moments, I rely on the Jetboil Flash. Using a cleverly designed pot that's attached to a large burner — it looks (and sounds) like a jet engine — the Flash can boil 16 ounces of water in less than two minutes. It is so fast that the first time I used it, it began boiling over while I was still prepping my meal.

This is a product designed with backpackers in mind. The whole thing packs down into the provided pot and even has space for a small fuel canister. Not only does this mean it takes up very little space but it also makes it hard to lose or forget a part of the stove.

If you want to sear, sauté, and simmer, the Jetboil Flash isn't for you. Although there are accessories that will let you use a frying pan, this is really a stove for heating your water fast, which is all most backpackers need.

The best for travel
msr whisperlite international stove

The Whisperlite International from MSR can go anywhere and burn almost anything. If you're traveling to remote locations, this is the reliable and rebuildable stove to take with you.

Pros: Compatible with various types of fuel, excellent longevity

Cons: Not the lightest stove

Isobutane is great for cooking fast with a steady flame and comes packaged in convenient canisters. Unfortunately, you can't fly with it, which could be an issue if you're going to some remote area where there isn't a camping store nearby. In this type of situation, the MSR Whisperlite International is a better alternative. Not only can the stove burn white gas, kerosene, or unleaded gas, it's also incredibly robust.

This reliability combines with MSR's clever shaker jet design, which prevents the fuel jet from getting clogged by using a needle inside the jet — cleaning it out when the stove is shaken. All of this makes the Whisperlite International the go-to choice for big expeditions.

With some practice, you'll be able to quickly light the Whisperlite International (you do need to bring a lighter). Advanced users can regulate the flame enough to simmer water if required. I'll admit that most of my uses have been limited to heating water and making oatmeal and coffee, but more adventurous cooks will be happy with the Whisperlite, especially when the alternative is going stove-less or using a wood or alcohol stove with pitiful heat output. — James Stout

The best high-powered
mr steak cmap stove

The Mr. Steak 1-Burner Infrared Portable Grill cranks out 14,000 BTUs and can heat up to an astounding 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pros: Amazing heat output, large cook surface, electric ignition system

Cons: Expensive, not suitable for hauling on foot

If you're pushing for the mountain summit of Denali or the Eiger, then it's probably best to leave the Mr. Steak 1-Burner Infrared Portable Grill back at base camp.

At around 30 pounds and measuring 25 by 16 by 16 inches, this is most definitely a car camping grill. But with that size comes 165 square inches of cooking space, below which an immensely powerful ceramic infrared burner can heat up to as much as 1,000 degrees. Not that you will need that much heat most of the time, but hey, it's there for you.

The Mr. Steak 1-Burner Infrared Portable Grill works with a standard one-pound propane cylinder (the squat green ones, like the ones the Coleman stove uses) and has an electronic ignition system.

When you're not using the grill, you can fold its legs up for easier storage or transport, and when you are using it, you'll appreciate the cool-to-the-touch silicone cover on the handle and a latch that can hold the cover open while you're flipping burgers. — Steven John

How to shop for a camp stove

Although all camp stoves largely have the same overall goal (i.e. heating food, boiling water, etc.), they're not all necessarily created equal. Some function better for rapidly boiling water while others are light enough for backpacking trips or pack a more powerful cooking punch.

Any decent stove produces plenty of heat and resists the elements, but beyond that, there are all sorts of differences between various brands and models that make a given unit ideal for one user but a poor choice for others. In discussing the six camp stoves on this list, we'll cover not only each option's inherent qualities but will also talk through why each model is well suited to specific activities, as well as why a given stove may be a poor choice for other scenarios.

How we test camp stoves

Each of the camp stoves featured in this guide went through a series of tests to see how well it compared across these six categories: Boil time, ease of setup and use, wind resistance, heating power (total BTUs), fuel type, and value. Here are the main features to consider when shopping for camp stoves (and the criteria we judged when doing our own testing over many nights spent camping, backpacking, or just taking to our own backyard): 

Boil time: How quickly a stove can bring water to a boil is one of the most important features for anyone who wants to quickly prepare food that only requires hot water, campers who want the ability to reliably purify gathered water, or those who need their coffee brewed mere moments after they wake up in the morning.

Ease of setup and use: Being able to easily set up your stove when you need it is vital. Most stoves are intuitive once you get the hang of them but it's still nice to have one without steep learning curve. 

Wind resistance: Depending on where you plan to do the bulk of your camping, a stove that's able to not only light but stay lit while it's windy is highly useful. While most stoves won't have a specific wind-resistant rating, many should list how well they'll work in blustery conditions.

Heating power (and total BTUs): Lighting the stove is one thing but how powerful it ends up being while lit is something else entirely. After all, you don't want to be sitting around for upwards of an hour waiting for a simple can of soup to heat up. The higher the BTUs (British thermal units), the more powerful the stove will be. Look for a stove between 10,000 and 30,000 BTUs. 

Fuel type: There are generally two kinds of camp stove fuel: Gas fuel like propane and butane or liquid fuel. Propane and butane canisters tend to be easier to use in terms of lighting the stove and don't require priming before being lit. Liquid fuel stoves require a bit more work (such as priming) but perform better in colder weather. They're also liable to be more dangerous to use. If possible, we recommend using propane or butane canisters as they're far easier to manage.

Value: The importance of a camp stove's price point is completely up to you. If you have the budget to buy a more full-featured stove, by all means, go for it. If you're looking for a budget option, there are plenty of those, too, and many have negligible differences to more expensive options. 

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How to download new Minecraft maps and add them to your game

minecraft java
It's easy to download and play on new maps in "Minecraft."
  • You can download "Minecraft" maps that others have made and play on them yourself.
  • "Minecraft" maps can be downloaded for free from community sites like Minecraft Maps or CurseForge.
  • Once you've downloaded a "Minecraft" map, you can play on it by placing it in your game's "saves" folder.
  • Visit Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories.

"Minecraft" - and in particular the original, mod-friendly "Java" edition - is a game that offers its players near limitless creativity. No two worlds are alike, and starting a new one can sometimes seem like a daunting task.

Fortunately, you don't have to start from scratch. Thanks to a benevolent community eager to show off their masterpieces, you can download an expert-level Minecraft map and start playing right away.

And these downloadable maps are often more than mere templates: They can offer adventurous puzzles, jump-scare horror experiences, scavenger hunts, multiplayer games, and more. As long as the map you download is compatible with the version of Minecraft you run, just about every theme and type of map imaginable is at your fingertips.

Here's where you can find amazing custom maps, and how you can add them to your slate of playable Minecraft worlds.

How to download a 'Minecraft' map and add it to your game

1. When you find a map you want to download that's compatible with the version of Java you run, download, unzip and drag the file to your desktop (or any location on your computer that you can find again quickly).

2. Next, you'll find and open your Minecraft folder. If your Minecraft folder is saved in the default location for your device, then you can find it by:

  • Windows: Press the Windows key + R to open the Run menu. In the text field, enter "%appdata%.minecraft" and press Enter.
8   how to download minecraft maps
You'll find the right folder buried deep in your computer's files.
  • Mac: Open a Finder window and click "Go" at the top of the screen, and then "Go to Folder." In the pop-up that appears, enter "~/Library/ApplicationSupport/minecraft" and press "Go."
2   How to download minecraft maps
The saves folder can be hard to locate.
  • Linux: In your Home directory, Minecraft can be found in "/home/YOURNAME/.minecraft/."

3. In your Minecraft folder, find the "saves" folder. When you open it, you'll see the names of all your existing worlds.

4. Grab the map you downloaded and drag and drop the file into the Minecraft "saves" folder. Make sure to drag the entire folder for the map download file, and not just contents within the folder.

4   How to download minecraft maps
Drag and drop the map download into your Minecraft directory's "saves" folder.

5. Open the Minecraft Launcher and start "Minecraft."

6. Select "Singleplayer," find your new map, and click "Play Selected World."

6   How to download minecraft maps
Your new maps will appear in the list.

From here, brace yourself for the exquisitely cultivated world you're about to be loaded into - just be sure to give credit to the world's actual creator when your multiplayer friends compliment your world.

7   How to download minecraft maps
Flying around in "Future City 4.5," a sleek futuristic cityscape created by user "Zeemo" and downloaded from MinecraftMaps.com.
How to install OptiFine to massively enhance 'Minecraft's' graphics and add new featuresHow to allocate more RAM to 'Minecraft' and help your game or server run more smoothlyHow to install 'Minecraft' mods and resource packs to completely reinvent your gameHow to play multiplayer in 'Minecraft: Java Edition,' using either a public server or one you create yourself
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Teva vs. Chaco - here's how the 2 most popular sport sandals compare


If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

tevas vs chacos
The author's Chacos (left) and Tevas (right).
  • Teva and Chaco are two wildly popular sport sandals in the outdoor community.
  • While both are practical and comfortable, they differ in design, feel, price, and color selection.
  • We compared them side by side to help you choose the right pair for your needs and preferences.
Z/1 Classic Sandal (small)Hurricane XLT 2 Sandal (Men's) (small)

Many great debates rage on in the world of consumer products. Apple or Samsung? Coke or Pepsi? Canon or Nikon?

If you're looking at sport sandals, we know the big question on your mind is: Tevas or Chacos?

These popular outdoor sandals were both born out of necessity. In the 1980s, two river guides, one in Arizona and the other in Colorado, needed comfortable footwear solutions that would keep their shoes on their feet and prevent their feet from wrinkling into prunes every day.

They had these basic needs in common, but from there the river splits. The sandal designs they ultimately came up with look and feel quite different. We like and have covered both Teva and Chaco sandals, delving into their history, design, and impact on the fashion and outdoor industries.

Now, here's a direct comparison that will let you easily decide which sandals are right for you.

We compared the Teva Hurricane XLT 2 Sandals and the Chaco Z/1 Classic Sandals on features like their strap system, footbed, arch design, and color selection in order to help you determine whether you're Team Tevas or Team Chacos.

See how Teva sandals and Chaco sandals compare below:

Strap design and materials
tevas vs chacos 2

An easy way to tell Tevas and Chacos apart is their strap designs. Teva straps line the sides of your feet while Chaco straps wrap across the tops of your feet. 

Teva straps support the tops, sides, and ankles of your feet and have Velcro to allow for fit adjustments. They're made from water-friendly, quick-drying webbing that's made from polyester, nylon, and recycled PET. 

Chaco straps include a buckle, criss-cross each other, and are actually one long, continuous strap. This gives your feet the feeling of being wrapped. You adjust the fit at each part of the foot by pulling that area of the strap. They're made from water-friendly, quick-drying polyester jacquard webbing.

Footbed materials and feel
tevas vs chacos 6

The footbed is what your feet are in contact with all day as you wear these sandals. Here's how the footbeds differ:

Tevas feel soft, smooth, and cushioned.

Chacos have a slightly textured footbed that feels more dry. 

Midsole and arch design
tevas vs chacos 4

Depending on the shape of your feet and the level of support you want, you'll like one brand more than the other.  

Tevas have a lower arch and make you feel like you're walking closer to the ground. I have fairly flat feet and found Tevas to be more comfortable than Chacos. The midsole is made from lightweight and flexible EVA foam, which feels cushioned and bouncy. 

Chacos have a high arch, with a thicker midsole at the heel than Tevas. If your feet have high arches, they'll be more comfortable in Chacos. The midsole is made from PU foam, which is a little heavier than EVA foam, but has a longer-lasting bounce. 

tevas vs chacos 7

While the outsoles have different designs, both Tevas and Chacos provide strong traction, allowing you to walk across all types of terrain — smooth tile, rocky trails, slippery rocks, and more. 

tevas vs chacos 9

Both shoes are excellent lightweight footwear options that won't weigh you down as you trek miles and miles on your travels or hikes. 

Tevas are lighter. One pair weighs 1 pound, 4 ounces. 

Chacos are heavier. One pair weighs 1 pound, 5.2 ounces. 

Color and pattern options
tevas vs chacos 10

Sport sandals, like all shoes, can be a reflection of your personal style. You'll be able to choose from a variety of colors and patterns from each brand. 

Tevas come in many neutral and bright colors, as well as prints. Some styles are part of limited-edition collections, but if you aren't able to find the one you want on Teva's website, you might have better luck checking another online retailer such as REI. 

Chacos also come in many neutral and bright colors, as well as prints. The brand also features limited-edition collections. To ensure your pair never gets mixed up with another person's, you can create a custom pair. This process lets you customize everything from the main strap to the logo badge. You can even upload your own image as a print or add embroidery. 

The bottom line
tevas vs chacos 8

After trying the sandals from Teva and Chaco, we've learned they're both very comfortable and supportive. But you should use the following points to figure out which pair you should buy. 

Buy Tevas if: You have flat or less arched feet, you don't mind Velcro straps, and you want a softer footbed. 

Tevas retail for $70, but you may be able to find them at lower prices at retailers such as Amazon and REI. 

Shop the Teva Hurricane XLT 2 sandals (Men's) here:

Hurricane XLT 2 Sandal (Men's) (button)

Shop the Teva Hurricane XLT 2 sandals (Women's) here: 

Hurricane XLT 2 Sandal (Women's) (button)

Buy Chacos if: You have high arches, like the look of the single-wrapped strap, and want a more "dry" feel. There are also more color and pattern options thanks to the customization feature. 

Chacos are more expensive and retail for $105, but you may be able to find them at lower prices at retailers such as Amazon and REI. 

Shop the Chaco Z/1 Classic sandals (Men's) here: 

Z/1 Classic Sandal (Men's) (button)

Shop the Chaco Z/1 Classic sandals (Women's) here: 

Z/1 Classic Sandal (Women's) (button)
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Gen Z is going to have a hard time getting rich

gen z
Gen Z is set to make less money on stocks and bonds.
  • Gen Z will earn a third less on stock and bond investments than past generations, Credit Suisse found.
  • They can expect average annualized returns of just 2%, according to the bank's investment returns yearbook.
  • Another obstacle for Gen Z: they've been the most unemployed during the pandemic.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Gen Z is walking a rocky road to getting rich.

They're set to earn less than previous generations on stocks and bonds, according to Credit Suisse's global investment returns yearbook.

In fact, the generation can expect average annual real returns of just 2% on their investment portfolios - a third less than the 5%-plus real returns that millennials, Gen X, and baby boomers have seen. Credit Suisse's analysis took in average investment returns since 1900 and forecasted them going forward for Gen Z.

The yearbook acknowledges that marked deflation could increase bond returns, The Economist reported, but it said inflation is more of a concern. What the report calls a "low-return world" is yet another another financial obstacle for the generation, who may be on track to repeat millennials' money problems.

A December Bank of America Research report called "OK Zoomer" found that the pandemic will impact Gen Z's financial and professional future in the same way that the Great Recession did for millennials.

"Like the financial crisis in 2008 to 2009 for millennials, Covid will challenge and impede Gen Z's career and earning potential," the report reads, adding that a significant portion of Gen Z is entering adulthood in the midst of a recession, just as a cohort of millennials did. "Like a decade ago, the economic cost of this recession is likely to hit the youngest and least experienced generation the most."

Gen Z was hit hardest in the workforce

Gen Z been been impacted the most in the workforce, facing the highest unemployment rates.

They entered a job market crippled by a 14.7% unemployment rate in May - greater than the 10% unemployment rate the Great Recession saw at its 2009 peak. Those ages 20 to 24 had an unemployment rate of nearly 27% when the unemployment peaked last April according to data from the St. Louis Fed, more than any other generation.

Recessions typically hit younger workers hardest in the short-term, but can reap long-term consequences.

"The way a recession can really hurt people just starting out can have lasting effects," Heidi Shierholz, a senior economist and the director of policy at the Economic Policy Institute, previously told Insider. "There's a lot of evidence that the first postgrad job you get sets the stage in some important way for later."

Recession graduates typically see stagnated wages that can last up to 15 years, Stanford research shows. That was the case for the oldest millennials graduating into the Great Recession, who in 2016 saw wealth levels 34% lower than that of previous generations at the same age, per the St. Louis Fed.

A follow-up study showed that by 2019, this cohort had narrowed that wealth deficit down to 11%. Such financial catch-up could be an optimistic sign for Gen Z in terms of regaining any ground lost building wealth during the pandemic.

However, millennials have had a 5%-plus annualized investment return on their side. With a projected 2% annual return for Gen Z, building wealth may be even harder to do.

There's more to building wealth

Of course, stocks and bonds are just two asset classes. There are other ways Gen Z can build wealth, such as investing in real estate or by becoming successful entrepreneurs. Many Gen Zers have already embarked on an entrepreneurial path as early as their teen years, which could go a long way in wealth creation.

But the pandemic has caused a housing frenzy that led to depleted inventory and inflated housing prices, making it more difficult to buy real estate - and build wealth through it. And while more prospective new businesses were formed in 2020 than ever before, almost a third of existing small businesses were wiped out by the pandemic. Altogether, the pandemic could ultimately cause Gen Z to potentially lose $10 trillion in earnings.

Within the next decade, Gen Z's income will rise to such a point that they'll effectively take over the economy, but their wealth could well be far behind previous generations by the time they get there.

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Biden meets with bipartisan group on $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan, saying he's open to negotiate

Joe Biden Oval Office
President Joe Biden.
  • Biden held his first official meeting with eight bipartisan lawmakers to discuss infrastructure.
  • He told reporters that he is willing to negotiate on both the size and the scope of his plan.
  • Republican lawmakers argue his plan is too focused on things aside from physical infrastructure.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

For the first time since unveiling his $2.3 trillion infrastructure package two weeks ago, President Joe Biden met with a bipartisan group of lawmakers on Monday to discuss the proposal.

Eight lawmakers, including Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate, Science, and Transportation Maria Cantwell, ranking member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Sam Graves, and Rep. Don Young of Alaska, joined Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in the Oval Office to kick off bipartisan discussions.

"I'm prepared to negotiate as to the extent of my infrastructure package, as well as how we pay for it," Biden told reporters after the meeting.

He also dismissed the idea that the meeting was just "window dressing," and said he was "prepared to negotiate as to the extent of the infrastructure project as well as how we pay for it," citing broadband and clean-water access as important parts of his definition of infrastructure.

This meeting followed a press briefing earlier in the day, when White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Biden is "absolutely" willing to negotiate on the size and scope of the package.

With regard to scope, Republican lawmakers have argued that it's too focused on things besides rebuilding physical infrastructure, like roads and bridges. For example, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement two weeks ago that while Biden could have drafted a "serious, targeted infrastructure plan" that would have received bipartisan support, "the latest liberal wish-list the White House has decided to label 'infrastructure' is a major missed opportunity by this Administration."

And with regards to the size of the plan, Republican lawmakers have said the $2.3 trillion price tag, along with Biden's proposed tax hikes, are too high.

Ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Roger Wicker, who attended the meeting, told ABC News in an interview on Sunday, "We are willing to negotiate with him [Biden] on an infrastructure package, and this trillion-dollar number is way too high for me."

He added that negotiations on the plan have to look different than the $1.9 trillion stimulus plan that passed in February without any Republican votes.

Some Democrats have said they'd like to see some changes to the package. Moderate Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia said on a West Virginia radio talk show last week that he does not support Biden's proposed corporate tax increase to 28%. "Well, the bill basically is not going to end up that way," he said.

Psaki emphasized in the Monday press briefing that Biden genuinely wants to work with both parties to create a bipartisan infrastructure bill.

"You don't use the president of the United States' time, multiple times over ... if you did not want to authentically hear from the members attending about their ideas about how to move forward this package," she said.

Also in the meeting were Democratic Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. of New Jersey, Republican Sen. Deb Fischer of Nebraska, Democratic Sen. Alex Padilla of California, and Democratic Rep. David Price of North Carolina, who all sit on committees relevant to rebuilding infrastructure.

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4 reasons the Democratic push for a huge infrastructure package will be tougher than the stimulus scramble

Pelosi Biden Harris
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris meet with Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the White House to discuss the stimulus package.
  • The path ahead for Democrats on infrastructure looks different from the one that produced a $1.9 trillion stimulus.
  • Democrats want to pay for some of it, and they're not rushing to meet a deadline.
  • It's also more complex than a package to stimulate the economy, and compromises over it could take months.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Congress is returning from a two-week Easter recess and now it's set to tackle other parts of President Joe Biden's legislative agenda. Likely the biggest piece of it will be an infrastructure package - A $2.3 trillion part of which has been unveiled, and a second part which will be rolled out in several weeks.

Yet the path ahead for Democrats looks very different from the one that produced a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package, which Biden signed into law in March. They are aiming to implement a sweeping public-works to demonstrate that their control of Washington produces tangible benefits for ordinary people.

For now, they are still attempting to draw Republican support, but that already looks a vain hope. The day Biden unveiled his plan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blasted it as a "Trojan Horse" for liberal priorities that go beyond traditional roads and bridges definition of infrastructure.

It only gets more complicated for Democrats from there.

Here are four reasons Democratic push for a huge infrastructure package will be tougher than their scramble to pass stimulus.

(1) Democrats want to pay for at least some of it

The entire $1.9 trillion rescue plan was deficit-financed, meaning it was not paid for and grew the debt. Many economists had been urging lawmakers to finance a package this way if it meant getting the pandemic under control and accelerating the distribution of vaccines.

However, Congress has now approved $6 trillion in emergency spending since the pandemic broke out last year, per the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. Many Democrats want Biden's jobs package to be offset with tax hikes on wealthy Americans and large companies.

"At some point we've got to start paying for things," Sen. Angus King, an independent from Maine who caucuses with Democrats, told Politico last month.

Biden has proposed offsetting the cost of his $2.3 trillion American Jobs Plan, just the first of his two-part package, by increasing the corporate tax rate to 28% from 21%. That has met with resistance from both Republicans and many business leaders.

(2) There is no hard deadline

Earlier this year, Democrats rushed to approve an pandemic aid package plan by March 14, the date when federal unemployment benefits were set to expire for millions of laid-off workers.

Now, there is no similar deadline hovering over the delicate infrastructure negotiations, which many in Congress expect to stretch for months. A possible date for action could be September, when lawmakers must act to fund the government and keep it open beyond the end of that month.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has suggested she wants the House to approve an infrastructure plan by July 4. Then it would head to the evenly divided Senate, where its odds of clearing the chamber rest on centrist lawmakers like Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

(3) It's aimed at creating jobs and growing the economy

Another key difference is the nature of the plan. The coronavirus relief package was geared to provide immediate relief to cash-strapped families and laid-off workers.

Biden's infrastructure plan forms a pillar of his Build Back Better agenda, designed to be a series of long-term initiatives. Much of it is aimed at overhauling the economy and leveling the playing field between the wealthy and average Americans, and incorporate racial justice.

It includes provisions to create jobs through repairing roads and bridges, clean energy incentives, and substantially expanding broadband access. A follow-up plan will also include education and childcare spending.

(4) Big parts of the plan could get scrapped in the Senate

Democrats are starting to eye budget reconciliation as their likeliest course, given staunch GOP opposition to the plan's scope and price tag. It's a legislative tactic to pass certain bills with a simple majority of 51 votes in the Senate instead of 60.

But it has strict rules overseen by the Senate parliamentarian who mandates measures be closely related to the federal budget.

That means some parts of the plan like a paid family leave program many Democrats support could get ruled out by the parliamentarian.

Goldman Sachs projected that $700 billion could be cut from Biden's overall proposal reported to be worth $4 trillion, leading to a final, single package worth $3.5 trillion that passes sometime between July and September.

Biden met with a bipartisan group of lawmakers on Monday, kicking off the infrastructure negotiations. He insisted after the meeting that it wasn't just "window-dressing" and that he is willing to negotiate on aspects of the package.

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HSBC bans clients from buying shares of MicroStrategy, which has become known for its massive bitcoin purchases

  • HSBC has instituted a new policy preventing clients from purchasing and moving shares of MicroStrategy into their account, according to Reuters.
  • The decision comes as HSBC broadly clamps down on cryptocurrency trading.
  • MicroStrategy has repeatedly made headlines in recent weeks by buying large amounts of bitcoin.
  • Sign up here for our daily newsletter, 10 Things Before the Opening Bell

HSBC has said it will prevent clients from purchasing and moving shares of MicroStrategy into their InvestDirect accounts, according to a March 29 message viewed by Reuters that referred to the stock as a "virtual currency product."

The decision comes amid a broader move by HSBC to limit cryptocurrency trading.

"HSBC has no appetite for direct exposure to virtual currencies and limited appetite to facilitate products or securities that derive their value from VCs (virtual currencies)," HSBC said in the same statement viewed by Reuters.

HSBC did not immediately respond to Insider for comment.

MicroStrategy last August became the first publicly listed company to buy bitcoin as part of its capital allocation strategy. It's since bought billions worth of the coin on multiple occasions, and currently holds $5.4 billion, according to a regulatory filing. Further, Michael Saylor's firm announced on Monday that it is paying non-employee board members entirely in bitcoin instead of cash.

HSBC's move goes against the wave of institutions and major corporations adopting bitcoin. Heavyweights including Goldman Sachs, Bank of New York Mellon, Tesla, PayPal, and Visa have started facilitating transactions in the coin, or accepting it as payment.

Bitcoin, the world's most popular cryptocurrency, rose as much as 2.6% to $61,229 on Monday ahead of Coinbase's listing this week.

Cryptocurrencies as a whole hit a record high of market capitalization of $2 trillion early this month, having doubled in value in just three months.

Read the original article on Business Insider

This $2,200 rowing machine is poised to be the Peloton of at-home rowers - here's why it's worth the investment

Rower_Model_838_r2 copy
Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky
  • Hydrow is an at-home rowing machine that offers live and on-demand workout classes, not unlike Peloton.
  • Though expensive at $2,245, it's a durable rower that delivers an engaging, full-body cardio workout.
  • I tried Hydrow and was impressed at everything it offered and how motivating and fun it was to use.

The popularity of interactive at-home workout machines continues to grow with brands like Peloton and NordicTrack leading the charge. Though similar at-home products have been around for years, advancements in the space have allowed these machines to be highly effective workout tools and more widely accessible.

Take the above-mentioned Peloton, for example. What started as a simple group cycling class seven years ago has since expanded into an at-home stationary bike outfit with highly interactive videos and classes. Put plainly, it's revolutionized our relationship with the stationary bike - and the startup is now estimated to be worth $4 billion.

But one nitpick some have with these bikes is how the machines tend to neglect your upper body. This is where the Hydrow Rowing Machine comes in, an at-home rower poised to become the Peloton of rowing.

Unlike cycling, rowing is said to engage 86% of your muscles. With this $2,200 at-home unit, you can participate in live or on-demand rowing classes led by world-class athletes, all in the comfort of your living room.

Curious about its benefits, I tried Hydrow for a month. Here's what I thought of the experience and if the $2,245 price tag is worth the investment.


Hydrow 4

The Hydrow is an 86-inch-long by 25-inch-wide rowing machine featuring an easily accessible 22-inch HD touchscreen mounted on the front. The monitor is sweatproof and features Hi-Fi speakers, a two-megapixel camera, a built-in microphone, USB 2.0 connection, and both Bluetooth and WiFi capabilities.

Here are a few other important specs:

  • Aluminum and steel frame with a flat anthracite polymer body
  • Soft rubberized feet to protect floors
  • Low-stress handle grip with ergonomic design
  • 1920 by 1080 Full HD screen resolution
  • Over 500 pre-recorded river and studio rowing sessions
  • Four types of rowing videos: Live Rowing, Rows on Demand, Serene River Rowing, Whole Body Fitness
  • Quiet, electromagnetic resistance that adjusts 240 times per second
  • Heart rate monitoring
  • 10-roller seat roller system facilitating a smooth operation
  • 25-degree monitor pivot in each direction
  • 18-month labor warranty; 2-year warranty on wear items, screen, and other electronics; and a 6-year structural frame warranty

A recurring $38 monthly membership is required to experience the full functionality of the Hydrow (i.e. the classes). This includes live virtual outdoor rows with instructors and athletes (including a selection from the U.S. National Rowing Team), access to a live leaderboard during classes, Hydrow's full on-demand library, and other exclusive off-machine fitness content.

The setup process

My setup experience was slightly different than what should be expected as Hydrow coordinated both the delivery and setup with a team of its own. The rower was fully assembled when it arrived, so the brand's technician just needed to screw the screen onto the frame, plug in the machine, and connect it to my Wi-Fi.

Once complete, the technician walked me through how to use the machine before he left and even showed me how to access the rowing tutorials - all of which I found really helpful.

If purchased via Best Buy, there is a white-glove treatment available for anyone who wants a complete setup done for them. Best Buy offers a delivery and installation option just about everywhere in the US for $249.99. There's also a flat $69.99 delivery charge but that gets waived if you go with the delivery and installation option - something Best Buy strongly encourages. You may even qualify for free installation and delivery if you reach out to customer service.

If you go the full installation route, a Geek Squad member delivers and sets up your Hydrow wherever you want it in your apartment or home. They'll also connect it to your Wi-Fi and ensure the rower is workout-ready before leaving.

A motivating library of classes

To get the most out of my month of testing the Hydrow, I challenged my wife to see who could put in the most mileage. My wife is fairly sedentary while I'm very active, yet the spirit of competition and ease of use motivated her to

I often loaded up a pre-recorded video class first thing in the morning to hit the digital water, due mainly to the fact the trainers all had upbeat attitudes. This helped to guide my workouts and started my day off on the right foot - thankfully, they weren't annoyingly positive. Their encouragement got me to push a little harder while focusing on my form.

Rower_Model_909_r1 copy

There are several levels of intensity to choose from and it took a bit of experimentation to figure out which level and workout length were ideal for my exercise needs. I felt the Warm-Up, Breathe, and Sweat videos were fairly light and didn't get my heart rate going as much as I wanted. Instead, I was more into the Push videos. The first 20-minute, Push interval session I did really worked out my body.

I also enjoyed the real-time leaderboard that appears on the right side of the screen a Live Rowing session. It compares your distance to the distances rowed by other users at each point of the video. I found it to be an incredibly useful motivating tool - my wife also noted how it often pushed her to row harder.

Although I preferred the interactive classes, some of my wife's favorite sessions didn't have live instructors. She liked the Serene River Rowing in which you go through beautiful natural areas and hear nothing but the water. There's still a leaderboard but no one is pushing you, so you're more likely to go at your own pace.

Another impressive aspect was the video streaming quality. There's nothing worse than having a video freeze in the middle of a guided workout, especially when you're challenging for the top of the leaderboard. During my testing, the screen froze just once - something my wife experience as well, at the same point in the same video. If this happens, you're able to just press the help icon on the screen and instantly send feedback to Hydrow, who was responsive.

A few nitpicks

Perhaps the Hydrow's biggest drawback is how big its 15-square-foot size is. I kept it in my living room for the short term but in the long term, you'd want a dedicated workout area.

You can, however, store the Hydrow vertically if you want to free up space. When stored vertically, it only takes up a 33-inch by 25-inch patch of space. I did this a few times and with the front wheels, it was easy enough for me to move and stand up the 145-pound machine on my own.


To the Hydrow's credit, the machine is incredibly quiet, which is certainly nice if you live in an apartment with paper-thin walls, or just don't want to make too much of a racket.

The only time it wasn't quiet, though, was when I had the resistance cranked up to 100% and was trying to do a high stroke rate. I'd hear a knocking sound where the foot pedals met the machine. My wife never experienced this but I weigh 250 pounds, which is 80 pounds more than her, so it might've just been a weight issue. Either way, I brought it up to Hydrow who told me that they'd fixed it in subsequent versions of the machine.

The price might also give you a bit of sticker shock. At $2,245, it's definitely not cheap but considering a Peloton bike costs $1,895, I'd say it's comparable. You're also getting a full-body workout as opposed to only cardio.

Hydrow's base price doesn't include the $38 monthly membership fee, which does make the final price a bit higher than what's advertised. Depending on how often you'd use the machine, an ongoing subscription might be an unnecessary and sunk cost - or a financial motivator.

Should you buy it?

Yes. At a comparable price to the Peloton, the Hydrow gives you a full-body workout. Plus, with its software updates, a new app, and constant improvements, Hydrow has demonstrated that it's committed to producing a top-quality experience.

If you can afford it and are looking for a way to stay motivated with a fun and challenging full-body exercise, I strongly recommend giving Hydrow a try.

What are your alternatives?

Though there's a variety of at-home workout equipment like stationary bikes or treadmills, interactive at-home rowers are relatively new (outside of the traditional, analog water rowers or stationary, screen-less row machines).

The closest alternative would be the Ergatta rower. Like Hydrow, the Ergatta rower features an onboard screen that displays workouts, leaderboards, and pre-recorded classes. The rower itself is even in the style of a water rower in that it uses water flywheel technology to produce a smooth row experience.

The bottom line

Overall, I loved Hydrow. So much so that I was sad when the technicians came to take it away. On my humble freelance writer wages, I'd likely be unable to buy it at its current price of $2,245 (plus membership fees). I just can't afford it. But if I had $2,245 to put toward my physical fitness, or was willing to part with $61 per month with Best Buy's financing payment, I'd buy the Hydrow today.

Pros: More than 500 on-demand videos of varying lengths and intensities, live broadcasts with live leaderboards, full-body workout, durable construction, quiet and precise electromagnetic resistance

Cons: Expensive, requires membership for access to all of the features, takes up a lot of space

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Insiders are buzzing about Subway sale rumors


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Insiders are buzzing about Subway's attempts to sell itself to Arby's or Burger King's parent companies

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David Paykin has gained more than a million followers on TikTok posting career advice tips and tricks.

Inside the CareerAdvice TikTok trend, where creators have driven more than 1 billion views and are helping Gen Z users land jobs

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Policygenius review: Compare quotes for car insurance, homeowners insurance, and more


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Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky
Policygenius Review 4x3

Should you use Policygenius?

You may like Policygenius if you ... You may not like Policygenius if you ...
  • Want to compare multiple insurance options
  • Prefer a free option to shop for insurance
  • Want to chat online or over the phone with a human representative
  • Would like to learn more in-depth about different types of insurance
  • Want a user-friendly interface
  • Want to buy insurance directly from the insurer
  • Are shopping for permanent life insurance or homeowners insurance, since these policies require extra consideration
  • Can find a lower rate from an insurer Policygenius doesn't partner with
  • Prefer in-person communications
  • Want a mobile app

What is an online insurance marketplace provider?

Online insurance marketplace providers offer you quotes from several insurance companies, allowing you to compare policy prices in a similar way to how you can use Expedia to compare airline ticket prices.

Not all insurance marketplaces give you quotes for all types of insurance. Quotes can be real-time or estimated, and you'll receive them after entering basic information about yourself and your financial situation, depending on the type of insurance you want.

Policygenius review

Policygenius is an online insurance marketplace that offers quotes for several types of insurance policies. The platform is free to use and makes its money by getting paid a commission from insurance companies for the policies they sell.

Depending on the type of insurance you're looking for, you'll have to put in a varying amount of information to get your quotes. For instance, applying for pet insurance will require you to fill out basic information about your furry friend, its previous medical history, and the coverage you're looking for. Then the system will spit out the low and high coverage limits for your pet.

Some insurance types are better suited to using a marketplace. For example, renters and car insurance processes are relatively straightforward. On the other hand, for bigger investments like homeowners or life insurance, you'll want to talk to experts like your accountant or financial advisor as you think through this decision more thoroughly. Insurance marketplaces can give you a good rough estimate of pricing, but should not be the last stop on your insurance journey.

Insurance companies submit their prices to state regulators and each insurance marketplace has to use those prices, so you won't get a discount at Policygenius. On the bright side, this means you won't find a lower rate for a certain insurance company on a different marketplace.

A standout feature of Policygenius is the number of articles it has dedicated to breaking down the different types of insurance options they offer. Before taking you to a page to get a quote, Policygenius will redirect you to a guide explaining the type of insurance you are about to apply for and key steps to get the best possible rate.

Policygenius also offers a referral program where you can earn Amazon gift cards if a friend or family member goes through the process. You'll receive a $100 Amazon Gift Card after your referral gets a decision from an insurer on their life insurance application, or a $50 Amazon Gift Card after your referral gives the info needed to calculate their home and auto insurance quotes.

Currently, you can only access Policygenius on a web browser - it doesn't have a mobile app on either the Apple or Google Play stores.

Call customer support Monday through Sunday, 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET. You can also chat online with a representative 24/7, or shoot the service team an email at any time. Unfortunately, there is currently no option for face-to-face communication with an agent.

Insurance options through Policygenius

Homeowners insurance

With homeowners insurance, you are financially protected in the event something bad happens to your home, and many mortgage lenders will require that you have insurance for the life of your loan. Homeowners insurance might be the lengthiest process you'll have to undergo to get a quote, but it's with good reason - homeowners insurance is one of the most comprehensive coverage plans available on this list.

To start applying for homeowners insurance on Policygenius, you'll need to enter information about your home, and if it's new, when you plan to close on it. Then, you'll fill out a bunch of specifics about your home, such as when it was built, the total square footage of your home, and your home's primary heating system, among other questions.

You'll answer miscellaneous questions about home renovations, additional natural disaster coverage, and what protective devices are installed in the home. Finally, you'll enter basic personal information about your occupation, annual income, and credit score before inputting your contact information. In Insider's test profile, Policygenius was unable to find a homeowners insurance option on its site, and instead directed us to a partner's website.

Policygenius renters insurance

If you're renting a place and your belongings are damaged or lost due to fire, theft, water damage, or other circumstances, renters insurance will pay to replace them.

When aiming for renters insurance, Policygenius will first ask you basic personal information about who you are and where you live, and then will follow up with questions about topics like current damage to the home and if you have or are planning on getting a dog within a year. Then you'll answer a few more questions about the safety of your home and what other types of coverage you'd like baked into your renters insurance.

That's all the information you need to enter - then you'll choose how large of a policy you'd like to take out and Policygenius will give you an estimate for how much your coverage will cost per month.

Policygenius auto insurance

Auto insurance financially protects you and your car in case you get in an accident that injures someone or damages their property. Almost every state has a minimum amount of car insurance required.

To receive your auto insurance quote on Policygenius, you'll enter information about yourself, your car, and your current policy, including answering questions about your Social Security number, when you got your license, and your employment status. Policygenius will provide you quotes within a couple of days of receiving your information and send you an email with your choices.

You can also get your quotes at the same time as your quotes for your homeowners insurance, should you select the option.

Policygenius life insurance

Life insurance provides a tax-free amount of money, called a death benefit, to a specified beneficiary, paid out after the policy holder's death. It can offer financial stability to the family left behind after a loss. Term life insurance lasts for a certain period before you'll need to renew it (often with a higher rate as you age), while permanent life insurance lasts forever and has a death benefit for your beneficiaries as well as a cash value that you can use during your lifetime.

Whichever type of life insurance you choose, it's important to talk through the right life insurance policy for you with experts.

To find out your personal life insurance quotes, you'll need to decide where you're at in your life insurance process. Are you getting started, comparing quotes, or ready to apply? You'll have to figure out if you match any specific criteria that can have an effect on finding the right policy, such as if you have kids or need coverage for a divorce. The next step in the process is to enter basic personal, medical, and contact information, and then you're done.

After inputting your information, you won't be presented with a list of quotes to evaluate. Instead, one of Policygenius' licensed experts will call to review your quotes and verify your information over the phone. If you're more comfortable handling insurance quotes over the internet, Policygenius' life insurance quotes may not be for you. According to a Policygenius representative, the marketplace offers quotes for both term and permanent life insurance, and term policies can be converted to whole life later in their term.

Policygenius disability insurance

If you're not able to work because of an injury or illness, long-term disability insurance (more than 30 days out of work) replaces your income. Disability insurance could be a good move to protect your income in the case of an emergency.

On Policygenius, you start off by entering basic information about yourself, your job, your education, and your income. Then, you select a monthly benefit amount, your waiting period (the amount of time between the start of your disability and when you begin to receive benefits), and how long you want your coverage to last. Finally, you'll have to answer some questions about your medical history and acknowledge that you'll have to take a medical exam.

After entering this data, you'll receive a quoted price range.

Policygenius pet insurance

You may consider pet insurance to cover up to the entirety of your vet bill and protect you against large, unexpected costs.

Beginning the process to get a quote for pet insurance on Policygenius is simple - just enter the name of your furry companion. Then you'll have to enter information about your pet's breed, gender, age, and pre-existing conditions, as well as your zip code. Next, you'll answer some questions about your eligibility for certain discounts and you'll choose what coverage type you want. After that, you're all set - Policygenius will give you the low and high limits for coverage options.

Policygenius health insurance

While you can't get health insurance quotes directly on Policygenius' website, the company breaks down the essentials about the topic for you with a lengthy informational guide about health insurance basics, types of health insurance, and common health insurance costs. It also provides a state-by-state list of where you can find each health insurance marketplace. Most redirect to healthcare.gov, the federal healthcare portal.

The open enrollment period for healthcare opens at the end of each year and is currently closed. However, you may qualify for a special enrollment period if you've experienced certain life events, like losing a job, getting married, or having a child.

Additional types of insurance available through Policygenius

In addition to the main types of insurance quotes Policygenius offers above, you can also get quotes on:

  • Vision insurance
  • Long-term care insurance
  • Jewelry insurance
  • Travel insurance
  • Identity theft insurance.

Depending on the type of insurance you select, you may be directed to an external site or be presented with a list of trusted partners to select from.

Beyond insurance options, Policygenius also allows you to create a will or trust through its site, starting at $120.

Is Policygenius trustworthy?

The Better Business Bureau gives Policygenius an A- in trustworthiness because the company has several complaints on the website. The BBB evaluates trustworthiness by judging a business's response to consumer complaints, honesty in advertising, and clarity about business practices.

Policygenius does not have any recent scandals. As a result of its clean history and solid BBB rating, you may decide you're comfortable using Policygenius as your insurance marketplace.

How Policygenius compares to other insurance marketplaces

We've compared Policygenius to two other insurance marketplaces with similar offerings and sign-up processes: The Zebra and Insurify.

Policygenius The Zebra Insurify
Types of insurance quotes offered Life, homeowners, renters, auto, disability, pet, health, vision, long-term care, jewelry, travel, identity theft Life, homeowners, renters, auto, boat, condo, travel trailer, RV, motorcycle, mobile home Life, homeowners, auto
How can you contact the company? Online chat, email, phone Email, phone Online chat, email, phone
Mobile app? No No No
Shop for insurance quotes Shop for insurance quotes Shop for insurance quotes

Policygenius review vs. The Zebra review

Policygenius and The Zebra both offer an expansive list of insurance types you can receive quotes for. You may like The Zebra if you're looking to get a quote on a unique type of vehicle like a motorcycle or RV, while Policygenius might be better for a niche type of insurance like jewelry or identity theft.

If you prefer to get your questions answered quickly via an online chat with a human, Policygenius may be right for you, as The Zebra doesn't have this option. You can contact both companies by email or phone, and neither offer in-person service.

The Zebra will give you your quotes shortly after you input basic information, while Policygenius may ask you to call them to receive your quotes, though the exact process depends on what type of insurance you want.

Your choice may come down to what quotes you are looking for and how quickly you want to get your quotes.

Policygenius review vs. Insurify review

You may prefer Insurify if you want a more streamlined process to get your quotes. For car insurance specifically, Policygenius will direct you to partner sites to get quotes while Insurify lists quotes from multiple companies immediately after you fill out your information.

Both marketplaces have resources to help you understand the ins and outs of different types of insurance, but only Policygenius directs you to these guides before sending you to find quotes. Policygenius' guides are also more comprehensive than Insurify's articles.

Insurify only offers quotes on life, homeowners, and auto insurance, so you may want to consider Policygenius if you're looking for a more specialized type of insurance.

Ryan Wangman is a reviews fellow at Personal Finance Insider reporting on mortgages, refinancing, bank accounts, and bank reviews. In his past experience writing about personal finance, he has written about credit scores, financial literacy, and homeownership.

Related Content Module: More Life Insurance Coverage
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11 of the best Airbnbs across Cape Cod from Provincetown to Chatham


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best airbnbs cape cod - eastham cottage

  • For East Coasters, Cape Cod offers an appealing beach getaway with over 500 miles of coastline.
  • Just one hour from Boston and four hours from New York, it's an easy spring and summer getaway.
  • We found top Cape Cod Airbnbs from $97 to $414 per night, though prices rise over summer weekends.

For many East Coasters, Cape Cod is an especially appealing spring and summer getaway given that it's just an hour from Boston and only about a four-hour drive from New York. With over 500 miles of coastline, the Cape offers a wide range of towns, beaches, and attractions.

From closer-to-Boston enclaves like Sandwich to the legendary Provincetown party scene and the upscale boutiques of Chatham, there's a picturesque spot to suit just about all travelers' needs. I've spent several summers making the easy drive from New York to spend a long weekend on the Cape in an Airbnb with friends or family.

As such, I've sorted through hundreds of Cape Cod Airbnbs to scope out the best spots the area has to offer.

Browse all the best Airbnbs in Cape Cod below, or jump directly to a specific area here:

These are the best Airbnbs in Cape Cod, sorted by price from low to high.

Chic tiny home in Port Dennis
best airbnbs cape cod dennis port tiny home

Book this Cape Cod Airbnb tiny home

This tiny house is bursting with charm from the seafoam green couch to the pink paisley comforter and tiny turquoise dining table. Despite the small size, it comes equipped with everything you'd need for a comfortable stay, including a full kitchen, wash/dryer, and a Trex deck with furniture. 

The home is just a 1/2 mile to both the beach and the village of Dennisport. Sundae School Ice-Cream is a particular favorite among locals that's within easy walking distance. Note that this property currently requires guests to bring their own sheets and towels. 

This property also donates a percentage of its profits to charitable organizations. Past programs they've supported include opioid addiction programs, animal shelters, community theater, Habitat for Humanity, and others.

Classic cottage in Eastham
best airbnbs cape cod eastham cottage

Book this Cape Cod Airbnb cottage

Charming white and blue exteriors and a wooden deck complete with a grill, picnic table, and turquoise umbrella welcome guests to this cottage in Eastham. The two-bedroom spot is within walking distance to Thumpertown Beach and just a short drive from the Cape Cod National Seashore. 

Indoors, the cozy space is highlighted by vaulted ceilings, pine board floors, and a wood stove, and those seeking solitude will appreciate that this home sits on a full acre. The owner even bought the two adjacent lots for the specific purpose of creating a secluded getaway. Take advantage of that privacy in the brand new outdoor shower after a day at the beach.

Cozy apartment in Yarmouth
best airbnbs cape cod yarmouth apartment

Book this Cape Cod Airbnb apartment

Central to plenty of restaurants, boutiques, beaches, and the Cape Cod Rail trail, this one-bedroom apartment is a cozy option for couples and solo adventurers since the maximum occupancy is two people. Colorful pops of green and turquoise create a lively atmosphere without becoming overbearing. 

The owner's home is on the same property, but this guesthouse apartment is separate and accessible via a stone walkway through an elegant garden in the backyard. It also comes with a private patio separate from the main house.

Beach chairs, beach towels, coolers, beach umbrellas, and beach bags are all supplied free for guests. The property is also right across from a golf course and golf clubs and bags are also available for guest use.

Beach studio with pool and hot tub access in Provincetown
best airbnbs cape cod beach studio

Book this Cape Cod Airbnb beach studio

Located in P'Town, as the locals call it, the best part of this cozy studio is its views. Enjoy panoramic scenes of the Long Point Lighthouse and the harbor. Extra lucky guests might even spot dolphins and whales. While best suited to couples and solo travelers (it's just 310 square feet) this home can sleep up to four guests if you're willing to squeeze and use the Murphy bed and couch.  

This studio is located within a resort complex, so guests have free access to a private beach, outdoor pool, and tennis courts. There are also two barbecue areas for guest use, though you'll have to bring your own charcoal, and you should confirm with the host to ensure facilities are open during the pandemic.

Boutique garden studio in East Sandwich
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Book this Cape Code Airbnb garden studio

Staying here is like entering your own secret garden. White interiors with touches of green instantly set the tone and the green theme continues outside. Big, windowed doors lead out to four acres of lush gardens and there's even a small outdoor seating area for enjoying a cup of coffee or tea among the foliage. A trail from the property runs along the nearby creek and includes a 52-foot suspension bridge.

One recent guest couldn't get enough of this listing, saying "Judith's place is nothing short of magical. We came here on a short getaway and fit in numerous activities recommended in the guide such as kayaking, fancy dinners, cute brunches and many walks around the stunning property. Judith truly went above and beyond at making our stay comfortable from the quick communication to the bathrobes and extra toiletries and waters in the studio. This is truly a vacation we will always remember!"

Loft cottage with private deck in Barnstable
cape cod airbnb

Book this Cape Cod Airbnb loft

An Airbnb Plus listing, this space offers stylish coastal charm thanks to its blue and white color palette. The space includes a living room, full kitchen, lofted bedroom found at the top of a ship ladder-style staircase, and a patio complete with wicker furniture and a bright green umbrella. There's also a decent size yard with a grill for guest use. 

The location is especially ideal, just a 10-minute drive to town and a 15-minute drive to the beach. The whole cottage is cozy and serene, from the comfy white sofa and armchair to the tasteful but rightfully coastal decor adorning the walls to the huge backyard lawn. As a special touch, you'll even find travel notebooks with adventure stories from previous visitors that you can read and add to.

Large classic home for groups in Eastham
best airbnbs cape cod eastham large home

Book this Cape Cod Airbnb home

Found in the Eastham/Wellfleet area just a few minutes from Bay Beaches and the Cape Cod National Seashore beaches trails, this huge home is a steal for big families and groups traveling together.

The home for the whole family and is even pet-friendly. Be aware that there is a smaller accommodation on the same property that is also rented out through Airbnb, so you may encounter other people around the premises. However, guests have the option to rent out both listings to ensure the entire property is yours or to accommodate up to 20 guests total.

Kids and adults alike will love the bocce area, horseshoe pit, fire pit, and hammocks for lazying around. The front porch includes teak rockers for early morning coffee or sunset cocktails.

Waterfront cottage in Wellfleet
best airbnbs cape cod wellfleet waterfront cottage

Book this Cape Cod Airbnb cottage

If you book this property on Lieutenant Island in Wellfleet, you'll likely spend a good chunk of your time on the wraparound porch. The ocean and sunset views from it are downright cinematic. But the interior is plenty nice, too, and with a queen bed in the master bedroom and two twin beds in the guest bedroom, it's a great choice for families.

Pets are also welcome and a surfboard, kayak, boogie board, and life jackets are available for complimentary use. One thing to note: Guests are expected to supply their own linens unless specifically requested.

Farmhouse-style haven in Chatham
best airbnbs cape cod chatham farmhouse

Book this Cape Cod Airbnb farmhouse

This cozy and stylish Airbnb Plus listing features vaulted ceilings, a brick fireplace, and a raised deck complete with a grill for enjoying al fresco dinners. The gentle blue and white decor has a slight nautical nod without being kitschy. 

Ideal for groups and families, the house has plenty of room to spread out. The home is ideally situated close to the main street in Chatham, which is itself centrally located on the Cape and close to excellent beaches, bars, and hotels. 

A recent guest raved about their stay, saying "Bill and Patty are the best hosts I've ever dealt with on Airbnb. The home is extremely well decorated and truly felt like home away from home. Close enough to town that you could be anywhere in no time, while far enough that we felt we had privacy. I would recommend this home to everyone!"

Elegant waterfront home in Yarmouth Port
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Book this Cape Cod Airbnb bay view home

It's nearly impossible to decide whether the exteriors or interiors are more enticing at this spectacular home. Overlooking Follins Bay, the three-bedroom house features an idyllic stone patio for morning coffee or an evening meal while watching all the boating activity. You can swim, fish or kayak (two are included) right from the backyard.

Meanwhile, elegant interiors include high-vaulted ceilings with beams and decor in soothing tones with bright blue accents. A spiral staircase leads to a cozy reading nook upstairs along with a loft bedroom. The modern and spacious kitchen makes cooking meals a cinch and a fireplace in the living room is a good spot to curl up on crisp nights.

Modern waterfront getaway in Chatham
best airbnbs cape cod chatham waterfront

Book this Cape Cod Airbnb waterfront home

Chatham is ideally situated in the middle of the Cape so it's easy to get to all areas. It's also where you'll find idyllic beaches like Lighthouse Beach, seaside restaurants, and luxury favorites like Chatham Bars Inn.

This waterfront retreat includes three bedrooms and sleeps up to nine guests, which makes the heftier price point a strong value for groups or big families splitting the cost. The modern design boasts blue slate floors, high ceilings, panoramic views, a screened-in lounge with plenty of natural sunlight, and a hot tub. There's also a fire pit and an indoor fireplace for chilly evenings. The house has access to a private dog-friendly beach within walking distance and dogs are welcome for an additional fee of $75. 

FAQ: Staying in Cape Cod

When is the best time to visit Cape Cod?

As a beach getaway, Cape Cod is always popular in the summer. However, that means you'll be fighting numerous other travelers for top accommodations, so if you are planning a summer trip, try to book as far in advance as possible. 

For fewer crowds (an important point when considering safe travel during COVID) and better deals, look to shoulder seasons like spring and fall when the nightly average for an Airbnb home rental is $282. In the summer, that average quickly jumps into the $300 to $400 range for a modern, well-located home.

What are the best Cape Cod towns to stay in? 

Cape Cod has a wide range of towns and villages, each with its own distinct style. Which one is the best for you is entirely dependent on your vacation needs. Towns like Falmouth and Sandwich are close to Boston for shorter travel times, while Dennis, Yarmouth, and Chatham are well-situated in the middle of the Cape and are close to Hyannis, where you may catch a ferry to Nantucket or Martha's Vineyard for an easy day trip.

Meanwhile, while it takes longer to access the Outer-Cape, that's where you'll find some of the best beaches, the legendary Provincetown party scene, as well as more remote areas like Wellfleet.

What are the best things to do in Cape Cod?

For beach time, head to the Cape Cod National Seashore for some of the best sandy stretches the area has to offer. Other popular outdoor activities include biking the Cape Cod Rail Trail, visiting the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge, or strolling through more than 100 acres of lush landscapes at the Heritage Museums and Gardens.

Stop in at the boutiques in Chatham (I love the soft pullovers and tees found at The Black Dog), enjoy an upscale meal or cocktails on the veranda at Chatham Bars Inn, stop for a scoop at Buffy's Ice Cream Shop, or pick up some fresh seafood at Cape Fish and Lobster to cook up back at your Airbnb.       

Are Airbnbs safe?

The CDC recently announced that fully vaccinated people can safely travel in the US.

Experts also consider private vacation homes, such as those on Airbnb, one of the safer lodging options, especially when compared to hotels. This is because you are often booking an entire home protected from interaction with others.

Airbnb also announced rigorous new procedures including the Enhanced Cleaning Protocol, which includes guidelines on personal protective equipment, disinfectants, and mandatory waiting periods between previous guests and cleanings.

However, be sure to continue to follow guidelines from organizations such as the CDC and WHO, and consider your own level of risk.

What is Airbnb's cancellation policy?

There are no blanket policies on Airbnb and the cancellation policy is set by individual hosts, so it varies from home to home. You can get a full breakdown of Airbnb's cancellation policies here.

If you're unsure about your travel plans, you may want to look for a listing with a flexible policy or check across multiple booking platforms to ensure you're getting the best deal. 

More great East Coast beach getaways
Best Airbnbs for a weekend getaway from New York City - Casual surf shack in Belmar Beach on the Jersey Shore
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Makeup lovers are boycotting Morphe as the brand stays silent on James Charles sexting allegations

James Charles attends his Morphe Meet & Greet at Roosevelt Field Mall on December 1, 2018 in Garden City, New York.
James Charles attends his Morphe Meet & Greet at Roosevelt Field Mall on December 1, 2018 in Garden City, New York.
  • Makeup brand Morphe is being bombarded by the "#BoycottMorphe" hashtag on social media.
  • The company is being criticized for its longtime sponsorship and collaboration with James Charles.
  • Charles has been accused by more than 15 men and boys of sexual harassment and sexting with minors.

Makeup brand Morphe may be facing a boycott over its continued association with James Charles, who has been accused by more than 15 men and boys of sexual harassment and sexting minors. He released a video addressing some of the allegations on April 1 and said "these conversations should have never happened."

The makeup company, which is also known as Morphe Cosmetics and Morphe Brushes, has not responded to Insider's inquiries about its longtime partnership with Charles, who appears in Morphe marketing campaigns, has cut ribbons at multiple Morphe store openings, and who is the face of the best-selling Morphe x James Charles Artistry Palette.

But a podcast host said on Twitter that they received an email from a Morphe representative saying that the brand "does not condone inappropriate online behavior of any form." The purported email, which was screenshotted and shared widely online, continued: "We have been actively looking into the recent allegations against James Charles, and have suspended marketing of the Morphe X James Charles collaboration while we continue to evaluate and monitor the situation."

The purported email circulated in the online beauty-drama community and led to Morphe's social-media posts being overrun with negative comments. The hashtag "#BoycottMorphe" appeared in over 200 tweets and in dozens of Instagram comments on Morphe's account since Charles' video was posted on April 1.

One comment on a recent Morphe Instagram post asking the company to "remove" the palette from their store reached over 400 likes. "How about actually listening to fans and maybe you wouldn't be losing money right now," said another comment with over 300 likes.

The recent accusations against Charles include more than a dozen so-called "exposé" TikToks made by individuals who claim Charles used Snapchat to send or solicit sexually suggestive or explicit messages and photos. Several of these individuals say they were minors at the time. Insider was unable to independently corroborate all of the allegations.

Charles' partnership with Morphe has been an integral part of his own online brand for years. He even previously sold a hoodie that said "Use code 'JAMES' for 10 percent off," referencing his famous affiliate discount code for the website.

Morphe's discount code 'JAMES' still works on its website

Morphe launched in 2008 as a beauty brand intended for collaborative partnerships with influencers and creators in the makeup and beauty space online, according to the company's website. Those creators have included Manny Gutierrez (Manny MUA), Nikita Dragun, Jaclyn Hill, Bretman Rock, and Charles, among others. Collaborations typically include a signature Morphe X eyeshadow palette.

Charles' rainbow-themed Artistry Palette is still listed on Morphe's website under the "Best Sellers" tab, along with the miniature palette and Charles' branded makeup-brush set.

James Charles

While Morphe hasn't posted on Instagram about Charles' products since March 25, Insider confirmed that his affiliate code still works on the website. Customers can use code "JAMES" for 10% off their purchase.

Morphe has separated from controversial creators in the past year

It wouldn't be unprecedented for the company to part ways with one of its major featured creators.

In June 2020, Morphe stopped working with YouTubers Shane Dawson and Jeffree Star as the creators were embroiled in controversy. It "ceased all commercial activity" with Jeffree Star Cosmetics, Star's brand that had previously been sold in brick-and-mortar Morphe stores. Morphe also stopped selling the popular Conspiracy makeup collection marketed by Star and Dawson.

The move came after YouTuber Tati Westbrook released a video accusing Star and Dawson of having "manipulated" her into accusing Charles of sexual misconduct with boys in 2019. Westbrook also claimed that Star had ownership in Morphe, which the company denied to Insider. At the same time, Dawson was being widely condemned by mainstream celebrities and online critics alike for his past offensive content.

Jeffree Star, Manny Gutierrez and James Charles celebrate The Launch Of KKW Beauty on June 20, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.
Jeffree Star, Manny Gutierrez and James Charles celebrate The Launch Of KKW Beauty on June 20, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.

When customers asked about Morphe's ties to Star and Dawson at the end of June 2020, the company initially wrote in similar purported emails to customers that it did not "condone or agree with the actions and behavior of Shane Dawson." Before officially separating from Star, the company also wrote that "Jeffree Star has acknowledged mistakes made in the past and has apologized, taken accountability, and worked hard to make amends within the community."

Facing mounting pressure from customers, it's unclear whether Charles' future with Morphe will follow a similar trajectory to Star and Dawson.

Neither Charles nor Morphe have responded to Insider's multiple requests for comment.

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Former FDA commissioner says cruises could be a 'lower risk endeavor' compared to other travel

cruise ships
Cruise ships.
  • Cruises could be "lower risk" compared to travel options like international trips, Scott Gottlieb told CNBC.
  • Gottlieb is a former FDA commissioner and the co-chair of Norwegian and Royal Caribbean's Health Sail Panel.
  • Cruise lines have implemented many health protocols that could turn ships into "protective bubbles."
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Cruising could be a "lower risk" travel option compared to other alternatives, such as overseas vacations, Scott Gottlieb, the former US Food and Drug Administration commissioner, said on CNBC's "Squawk Box" on April 9.

Many major cruise lines have created robust health and safety protocols to make the return of sailing safer amid COVID-19. This includes Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and Royal Caribbean Group, which partnered to establish the Healthy Sail Panel. The panel suggests ways for the industry to move ahead safely amid virus concerns and is currently being co-chaired by Gottlieb, a Pfizer board member.

The panel has already recommended 74 protocols, from face mask use to COVID-19 testing for guests and crew.

"As you start to implement all these public health recommendations that we've outlined, you start to create an environment that can be quite safe," Gottlieb told CNBC. "You can create a protective bubble around the [cruise] experience."

When the COVID-19 pandemic first began, virus outbreaks aboard cruise ships around the world left thousands of cruisers stranded or infected. Shortly after, the CDC put a no-sail order in place, which was later replaced by its recently updated conditional sailing order.

Read more: Carnival and Royal Caribbean salaries revealed: From $32,000 to $383,000, here's how much the cruise industry's power players pay some of their employees

To make the return of sailing safer, several cruise lines have implemented COVID-19 vaccine mandates. This includes Norwegian, which recently declared a vaccine requirement for both guests and crew.

Shortly after this announcement, Frank Del Rio, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings' president and CEO, told CNBC's Jim Cramer that cruise ships will "de facto become the safest place on earth" as more cruise companies continue to ramp up health protocols.

"I challenge you to tell me of another venue anywhere that has this kind of ironclad health and safety protocols in place," Del Rio told CNBC's Cramer.

Gottlieb has since echoed Del Rio's sentiments regarding the safety of cruise ships.

"I believe you can create a safe bubble around that experience, especially when you're comparing it to other vacation experiences where you can't control the environment," Gottlieb told CNBC.

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New Mexico becomes 16th state to legalize marijuana, a rebuttal to America's 'failed war on drugs'

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New Mexico has joined 15 other states and the District of Colombia in legalization the recreational use of marijuana, with retail sales to begin by April 2022.
  • Adults in New Mexico will soon be able to possess and grow marijuana.
  • The state legalized recreational use of cannabis this year, with retail sales to begin by April 2022.
  • "We're going to start righting past wrongs of this country's failed war on drugs," Gov. Michelle Lujan-Grisham said.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Beginning this summer, New Mexicans 21 and older will be able to both possess and grow marijuana. The state on Monday became the latest to legalize the recreational use of cannabis - with retail sales to begin by early 2022.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat who in March convened a special session of the legislature to reform the state's drug laws, signed a legalization bill into law. She also put her signature on a companion bill that will give many with past marijuana convictions a clean record.

"We're going to start righting past wrongs of this country's failed war on drugs," Lujan-Grisham said in a statement. "And we're going to break new ground in an industry that may well transform New Mexico's economic future for the better."

One of the country's most impoverished states, a legal cannabis industry could spawn a $318 million market and more than 11,000 jobs, according to an economic analysis trumpeted by the governor.

Although New Mexico's political scene has long been dominated by Democrats, the state for years struggled to move forward with marijuana legalization, with reform efforts thwarted by more conservative members of the party. In 2020, however, several of those conservative Democrats lost primary races to more progressive challengers who went on to win in November, shifting the state Senate to the left.

While marijuana will become legal on June 29, New Mexico residents will, for a time, need to grow their own (under the new law, they are allowed up to six plants each). That's because the state will first need to develop both a regulatory infrastructure and sufficient commercial supply before allowing retail sales, which could begin as late as April 2022.

The upside for marijuana consumers is that, unlike in California and some other states that have legalized cannabis, local governments will not be able to issue blanket prohibitions on sales within their jurisdiction, the Albuquerque Journal reported. And anyone whose past offense would now be legal, or would have resulted in a lower sentence, will have their criminal record automatically expunged, per the Las Cruces Sun News.

Although New Mexico is known for its libertarian streak, the state's Republicans are displeased.

"Recreational marijuana is hardly a pressing issue," the New Mexico GOP said in a statement on Monday, arguing that cannabis legalization "will lead to even more crime, underage use, and impaired driving."

In fact, surveys have found that the rate of marijuana use by young people has either remained the same or declined in states that have legalized its recreational use. Studies have also failed to detect a clear connection between road safety and the legal status of cannabis. And researchers have found little to no impact on crime.

Sixteen states and the District of Colombia have now legalized recreational marijuana. Colorado, in 2012, was the first.

Have a news tip? Email this reporter: cdavis@insider.com

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How to fly in 'Minecraft' in either Creative or Survival mode

kid playing minecraft on mac
There are two simple ways to fly in "Minecraft."
  • There are two distinct ways to fly in "Minecraft," in either Creative or Survival mode.
  • In "Minecraft's" Creative or Spectator modes, you can fly by double-tapping the jump button.
  • In Survival mode, you'll need to craft the Elytra item, which gives your character a pair of angel wings.
  • Visit Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories.

"Minecraft" maps can be massive, so it's no wonder that many players prefer flying to walking. Flying in "Minecraft" means faster and more efficient travel uninterrupted by mountains, trees and bodies of water.

There are a few different ways to fly when playing "Minecraft." In Creative mode, flying is as simple as the tap of a key or button on console. In Survival mode, however, you'll have to earn the ability to fly by finding an equippable item called Elytra.

Here's everything you need to know about achieving liftoff in "Minecraft," whatever your style of play.

How to fly in 'Minecraft' using Creative or Spectator mode

As you probably know, "Minecraft" has various different game modes and playstyles. In Creative and Spectator mode, you're less like a player and more like an in-game god.

One part of this is your ability to freely fly anywhere at any time. Just quickly double-tap the jump button - on a computer, for instance, this will be the spacebar.

Once flying, you can press and hold the jump button to rise, and hold the crouch button to fall. You can also hold the sprint button in mid-air to fly faster.

how to fly minecraft
You can fly anywhere in Creative mode, even faster than you can run.

Double-tap the jump button again to stop flying. Because you're in Creative or Spectator mode, you won't take any damage if you fall from a great height.

Just don't fall into nothingness - say for instance, the voids between islands in The End - or you'll die and have to respawn.

13   how to fly in minecraft
Even in Creative mode, you can't exist outside of the game world.

How to fly in 'Minecraft' using Elytra in Survival mode

For the brave and patient souls who dare not use Creative mode, flying is still possible in Survival mode. But it's harder, and you can't fly as freely.

To fly in Survival mode, you'll need to find the rare Elytra item, located somewhere in an End Ship.

Finding the Elytra

End Ships are located in the far reaches of The End, the dimension where the Ender Dragon lives. Every time you defeat the Ender Dragon, two portals are created - one that will take you to the credits and then back home, and another that will take you to the outer End islands.

9   how to fly in minecraft
You'll need to throw an Ender Pearl into the portal to fit.

If you don't want to face one of the game's biggest baddies yet though, and are a patient builder, you can also build a bridge from the Ender Dragon's lair to an End city. Just note that this can take a very long time, and will require a lot of resources - the nearest island is over 1000 blocks away.

If you take this route, place a bed near your portal to the End world to create a spawn point, since falling out of the world to your death will be a potential hazard.

However you get there, once you find an End City in the distant islands, your best bet to find the Elytra is to board an End Ship. A little more than half of End Cities feature one of these ships.

1   How to fly in minecraft
Look for a floating End Ship.

Within the ship, find a level inlaid with black Obsidian blocks. There, you'll see the Elytra in an item frame, flanked by two chests - which you should definitely loot as well - and defended by a Shulker. Break the item frame to claim the Elytra.

2   how to fly in minecraft
You don't need to kill the Shulker, but it'll make looting easier.

Flying with the Elytra

Elytra works very differently from the sort of flying you do in Creative and Spectator mode. It's more like gliding, and you can't fly forever. However, you can hack that by equipping fireworks while you glide.

To use the Elytra, you'll need to equip your wings to your character's chestplate slot. From there, climb to a great height, fall, and press the jump key once to start flying.

While flying with Elytra, be mindful of real world physics. Flying at too sharp an angle can cause you to stall and fall from the sky. And colliding with the ground or a wall too fast might kill you.

When your legs begin to wobble when gliding with an Elytra, it's an indication you're losing altitude. If you're not ready to go down just yet, equip a firework rocket in your hotbar and use the item. This will give you a big speed boost, shooting you back into the sky. You can, in theory, fly for as long as you have firework rockets to spend.

11   how to fly in minecraft
As your player's legs begin to flail or wobble, either plan to lose altitude, or set off firework rockets.

Just note that the Elytra also has its own durability, which will go down the more you fly. You can repair an Elytra by combining it with two phantom membranes at an anvil, or by combining two damaged Elytras.

How to download new Minecraft maps and add them to your gameHow to install OptiFine to massively enhance 'Minecraft's' graphics and add new featuresYes, 'Minecraft' is cross-platform - here's how to play with your friends on any systemHow to craft and use a beacon in 'Minecraft' to give your character major upgrades
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The most common side effects to expect after your coronavirus vaccine, based on which shot you get

vaccine selfie colorado
A person after getting the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in Colorado.
  • Coronavirus vaccines can have similar side effects, but reactions vary slightly.
  • Injection-site pain is common after you've had your shot, no matter which one you got.
  • More than 60% of participants in Moderna's and Pfizer's trials also reported fatigue.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

It's normal to feel discomfort after a coronavirus shot.

Once a vaccine goes into your arm, blood flow increases and immune cells rush to the scene. This can result in pain at the injection site - the most common side effect of all three US-authorized coronavirus vaccines.

The reaction is more common after Pfizer's and Moderna's vaccines than Johnson & Johnson's. Less than 50% of participants in Johnson & Johnson's clinical trial reported pain at the injection site, compared with 92% of Moderna participants and 84% of Pfizer participants.

In AstraZeneca's case, injection-site tenderness was most common, affecting 64% of trial participants. Around 54% of participants reported injection-site pain. (The shot has been authorized in more than 110 countries, but not yet in the US.)

When our immune systems detect the ingredients of a vaccine, they also release inflammatory chemicals to protect us. That's why people can develop a fever, muscle pain, fatigue, or headaches shortly after their shots.

Fatigue was the second most common side effect in Moderna's and Pfizer's trials. Nearly 69% of Moderna participants and 63% of Pfizer participants reported it.

But headaches were slightly more common than fatigue among Johnson & Johnson participants: 39% reported headaches, compared with 38% who reported fatigue.

In AstraZeneca's trial, fatigue and headaches were equally as common: around 53% of participants reported these side effects.

Here's a breakdown of how vaccine side effects differ by age and manufacturer. (Data for Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson are based on clinical trials. AstraZeneca's data are based on a small study of nearly 130 vaccine recipients.)

Fatigue and headaches are more common after Pfizer's and Moderna's second dose - but not AstraZeneca's

A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report examined side effects among more than 1.9 million Americans who'd received both doses of Pfizer's or Moderna's vaccines.

Overall, side effects were slightly more common after both of Moderna's shots than Pfizer's two. And side effects across the board were more numerous and severe after the second dose of either vaccine.

Reports of injection-site pain rose from 68% after dose one of either vaccine to 72% after dose two. Fatigue rose from 31% to 54% from the first to second shot, while headaches rose from 26% to 47%.

Nearly 82% of Moderna recipients reported some reaction at the injection site - pain, redness, itching, or swelling - after their second dose, while 69% of Pfizer recipients said the same. In addition, 60% of Moderna recipients reported fatigue and 53% reported headaches after dose two. After the second dose of Pfizer's shot, 48% of vaccine recipients reported fatigue and 40% reported headaches.

AstraZeneca's shot tends to have worse side effects after the first dose for reasons scientists don't fully understand. Experts say the reaction may have to do with the vaccine's technology, which uses a genetically engineered common-cold virus to introduce a coronavirus gene into the body. That common-cold virus could potentially stimulate a stronger immune response right away.

Muscle pain and fever are more common than gastrointestinal issues

Muscle pain was among the most common side effects across all four trials.

In Moderna's trial, 60% of participants had muscle pain, while 38% of Pfizer participants reported the symptom. About one-third of Johnson & Johnson participants and 44% of AstraZeneca participants reported muscle pain as well.

Chills were less common but not rare: 43% of people in Moderna's trial reported chills, as did 32% of Pfizer and AstraZeneca participants. Just 2% of Johnson & Johnson participants felt that effect. In both Pfizer's and Moderna's trials, 15% of participants reported fever, compared with 9% in Johnson & Johnson's trial and 8% in AstraZeneca's.

woman getting vaccine
A physician administers the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

For the most part, gastrointestinal issues like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea weren't commonly associated with Pfizer's or Moderna's shots, but about 14% of Johnson & Johnson participants and 22% of AstraZeneca participants reported nausea.

Side effects were fleeting across all four trials.

The majority of Moderna participants said their side effects started the day they got their shot and lasted two days after each dose. On average, Pfizer participants also experienced side effects one to two days after their shot, with the reaction usually lasting just one day.

Johnson & Johnson participants saw side effects within two days of their injection. On average, fatigue, headache, and muscle pain lasted two days, while nausea and fever lasted one day.

AstraZeneca's side effects usually resolved within a few days as well.

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