Saturday, June 30, 2018

0 The Steam summer sale is live — here are the best deals we've seen so far

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Steam summer sale

  • The Steam summer sale is now live, starting today (June 21) and ending July 5.
  • New games will go on sale daily.
  • Check back here for a roundup of the best deals. 

Cue the memes of empty wallets money being thrown at screens: the Steam summer sale is here.

Titled the "Intergalactic Summer Sale," the sale will last from June 21 to July 5. Visit the Steam homepage here to see all of the sale items. The list here will be continually updated with sales that stand out.

Here are some of the best deals of the day:

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0 A CEO who based his $700 million company in Pittsburgh says he's getting employees who want to work in tech but avoid the Bay Area

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luis von ahn duolingo

  • Luis von Ahn cofounded the language-learning app Duolingo in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 
  • Von Ahn says having a tech company headquartered in Pittsburgh, rather than Silicon Valley, is an advantage.
  • For one, Pittsburgh has cheaper housing; Von Ahn estimates at least half of Duolingo employees own a home.

A tech company in Pittsburgh may sound out of place, but it is actually helping Luis von Ahn recruit talent for his language-learning app Duolingo.

"I like it, and it's really on the up," Von Ahn said about Pittsburgh in an interview for an episode of Business Insider's podcast Success! How I Did It.

Von Ahn has been based in Pittsburgh since attending Carnegie Mellon University for his PhD in computer science, where helped create the cyber-security technology captcha to distinguish a human from a robot. He then cofounded recaptcha, the second version of captcha, which was eventually acquired by Google. In 2014 he cofounded Duolingo, now valued at $700 million.

Over time the company grew and expanded, making it was difficult to move the office, he said. "Being in a city that's on the upswing is pretty good because you're just getting a bunch of highly talented people wanting to move here. That has helped us," he said. He also said being near Carnegie Mellon has attracted "really amazing people" to the company.

And on top of all that, it's much cheaper than Silicon Valley.

"We're getting just a good number of people who are just either moving from the Bay Area or just don't want to go there to begin with, fresh out of college, because here you can get an apartment that's pretty nice and you can just pay, I don't know, a thousand bucks a month, and that is completely unheard of in the Bay Area," Von Ahn said. 

San Francisco is the second most expensive city to live in the world — a two bedroom apartment costs an average of $3,664 a month and the income needed to qualify for a mortgage is well into the six figures. Average rent for an apartment in Pittsburgh is $1,250 a month, while the median home sells for $145,770, according to SmartAsset.

"Many of our employees — I'm going to assume maybe half of the employees in Duolingo own a home, and that's completely unheard of in Silicon Valley," Von Ahn said. 

Recently Duolingo advertised for hiring near a busy San Francisco highway using cost of living as incentive: "Own a home, work in tech, move to Pittsburgh."

"I don't know what that billboard will do," Von Ahn said. "We hear that enough, that we thought it was worth putting up the billboard."

SEE ALSO: Bill Gates tried to poach the CEO of $700 million Duolingo, and they still keep in touch — here's what they talk about

DON'T MISS: How Duolingo's CEO went from being a 10-year-old video-game bootlegger to building a $700 million company

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0 This Israeli airline says it will no longer accommodate Orthodox Jewish men who refuse to sit next to women

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El Al.

  • In response to backlash from a prominent Israeli tech company, Israeli airline El Al announced on Monday that it will no longer move female passengers to accommodate Orthodox Jewish men.
  • Last week, an El Al flight from New York to Tel Aviv was delayed because Orthodox men refused to sit next to women on the airplane, according to the Times of Israel.
  • This prompted Barak Eilam, the CEO of NICE Systems, to threaten to boycott El Al "until they change their practice and actions discriminating women."
  • Shoshanna Jaskoll, co-founder of an advocacy organization for Orthodox Jewish women, told INSIDER that she applauds El Al's decision to stop asking women to move at the request of men.

After facing backlash from a prominent Israeli tech company, Israel's national airline El Al announced on Monday that it will no longer move female passengers to accommodate Orthodox Jewish men who refuse to sit next to women.

On June 22, Khen Rotem wrote in a Facebook post that the El Al flight from New York to Tel Aviv was delayed because four Orthodox men refused to sit next to women.

According to Rotem, one of the Orthodox men boarded the plane with his eyes tightly closed, and did not open his eyes throughout the entire flight so he would not look at any women. Rotem also said that the men refused to talk to or look at the female flight attendants. 

Rotem wrote on Facebook that the Orthodox men refused to sit next to female passengers. According to Rotem, the El Al flight crew attempted to negotiate with the Orthodox men at first. However, "the team surrendered" and cleared a row of seats for the four Orthodox men and moved the women to other seats in coach class. 

Rotem claimed that the flight to Tel Aviv took off "an hour and a quarter late" because the flight crew had to handle this situation.

Read the full Facebook post here:

On Monday, the CEO of a major Israeli tech company posted about this incident on LinkedIn and threatened to boycott El Al Airlines.

Barak Eilam, the CEO of NICE Systems, posted the link to an article about this incident from the Times of Israel on LinkedIn.

"At NICE we don't do business with companies that discriminate against race, gender or religion," Eilam wrote on the LinkedIn post. "NICE will not fly @EL AL Israel Airlines until they change their practice and actions discriminating women."

The CEO of El Al told the Associated Press that the airline will take a "firmer stand" against perceived discrimination against female passengers.

According to the Times of Israel, El Al apologized for the inconvenience caused to its passengers.

"Any discrimination against passengers is absolutely forbidden," the company is quoted as saying by Hadashot TV news, according to the Times of Israel. "El Al flight attendants do all they can in order to provide service to a wide variety of passengers with different and diverse requests and try to assist to the best of their ability."

On Monday, Gonen Usishkin, the CEO of El Al, said in a statement to the Associated Press that he had ordered that "any traveler who refuses to sit next to another traveler will be immediately removed from the flight."

Shoshanna Jaskoll from Chochmat Nashim, an advocacy organization for Orthodox Jewish women, told INSIDER that Orthodox men who refuse to sit next to women are demonstrating "an extreme take on Judaism."

According to Jaskoll, certain Orthodox Jewish communities will participate in gender-segregated prayers "so that men can concentrate during prayers and not be distracted."

Jaskoll told INSIDER that the gender segregation sometimes extends beyond the synagogue, resulting in gender-segregated weddings, lectures, "and in some insular communities, even buses."

As a result, Jaskoll said that certain men from these Orthodox communities will refuse to sit next to women because they "have become used to segregated environments" and they may even "think of themselves as more pious if the sexes don't mingle." 

Therefore, Jaskoll said that she is pleased that El Al announced that it will no longer be moving female passengers at the request of Orthodox men.

"As someone who has seen the destruction that extremism causes, I applaud El Al's decision to not allow people to ask women to move and disrupt flights," she said.

There have been several reported incidents in the past where Orthodox men refused to sit next to women on airplanes, often resulting in delays.

The Times of Israel reported in 2014 that a Delta flight from New York to Tel Aviv was delayed by half an hour because Orthodox men did not want to sit between two women, and the Independent reported another incident in 2014 where an El Al flight from New York to Tel Aviv did not take off on time because Orthodox men refused to sit next to women.

El Al has come under fire in the past for moving female passengers after Orthodox men refuse to sit next to them. Last year, the Guardian reported that Holocaust survivor Renee Rabinowitz successfully sued El Al for gender discrimination after she was asked to move seats to accommodate Orthodox men who did not want to sit next to her.

El Al Israel Airlines did not reply to INSIDER's request for comment.

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NOW WATCH: This is how moveable prosthetic covers are made for bionic limbs

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0 Trump plan would mean higher rent for 150k New Jersey families

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150,000 poor New Jersey families could soon be facing higher rent. The Trump administration’s policy proposals to increase rent obligations for those living in subsidized housing would affect 99 percent of renters who receive assistance from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, according to a report from the liberal-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. reported that family rents would increase by 18 percent on average. And if the proposal were to pass Congress, the […]

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0 The Wall Street bankers who feast during recessions say there's a 'smell in the air' and it's starting to feel like 2007 (MC, HLI, GHL)

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storm over new york wall street

  • The global economy is growing and corporate defaults are low and projected to drop even further.
  • Yet the Wall Street investment bankers who feast during recessions are optimistic about their business, and some say it's starting to feel like it did just before the financial crisis.
  • Top restructuring firms have been filling out their rosters of talent to be prepared in case of an economic recession.
  • Restructuring bankers told Business Insider that a massive amount high-yield debt issued in recent years could produce defaults and keep them busy even without a recession.
  • Another source of optimism: The restructuring business has changed since the last financial crisis, with firms finding year-round work across the globe by providing solutions to companies before they get to bankruptcy court.

At an earnings call in April, an analyst pressed bank CEO Ken Moelis on his rosy outlook for his firm's restructuring business — the corner of Wall Street known for advising companies with messy books veering toward bankruptcy.

For a healthy chunk of his opening commentary, the namesake founder and CEO of independent investment bank Moelis & Co. touted his firm's "market-leading restructuring business" for supplying meaningful activity.

"Your comments were surprisingly positive," said Ken Worthington, a senior equity analyst with JPMorgan Chase. "Is this sort of steady state for you in a lousy environment? Can things only get better from here?"

On the surface, market conditions are showing few signs of distress. The economies in the US and throughout the developed world are growing, the stock market has been upbeat despite fits of volatility, and corporate default rates remain low and are projected to fall further in 2018 and beyond.

So why was Moelis so sanguine about his restructuring team?

Ken Moelis

"Look, it could get worse. I guess nobody could default," Moelis said. (Keep in mind that "worse" from the perspective of a restructuring banker, who feasts during recessions, means "better" for most of the rest of the world). "But I think between 1% and 0% defaults and 1% and 5% defaults, I would bet we hit 5% before we hit 0%."

The billionaire dealmaker isn't alone in his sentiment. Many on Wall Street are scrutinizing cracks in the economy's glossy veneer.

JPMorgan copresident and investment-banking head Daniel Pinto told Business Insider in March that a 40% correction, triggered by inflation and rising interest rates, could be looming on the horizon.

The market's biggest money managers are already positioning as if a major economic downturn is near, according to research this month from Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

And while they're quick to note that no one can predict the next collapse, Wall Street's top restructuring bankers are also joining in the chorus cautioning that the economic boom may be on its last legs.

"I do think we're all feeling like where we were back in 2007," Bill Derrough, the cohead of recapitalization and restructuring at Moelis & Co., told Business Insider. "There was sort of a smell in the air; there were some crazy deals getting done. You just knew it was a matter of time."

Business Insider spoke with several top restructuring bankers who were all buoyant on the outlook for their industry, in part because of disconcerting trends facing debt-burdened companies but also because of how the business has changed since the last financial crisis.

Massive debt, rising interest rates, flimsy covenants

The global default rate for weak companies is indeed very low; it climbed in March to 3.9% on the struggles of a handful of retail and oil and gas firms, but it ticked back down to 3% in April and is expected to dip to 1.2% a year from now, according to Moody's.

But as Moelis alluded to in his investor call, the amount of high-yield corporate debt — bonds and loans issued to riskier companies — doled out in the US in recent years is at levels far exceeding precrisis highs.

Historically, large volumes of high-yield issuance "has led, after a period of time, to an increased level of restructuring,” according to Steve Zelin, head of the restructuring in the Americas at PJT Partners.

Four of the past five years have seen both high-yield bond and leveraged loan issuance that exceeded 2007's precrisis levels. Further, 2017 was the highest year on record for US leveraged lending, with volume of $1.4 trillion nearly 25% more than the previous high point, in 2013, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Moody's corporate default rate

"Even if there is not a recession or credit correction, with the sheer volume of issuance there are going to be defaults that take place," said Neil Augustine, cohead of the restructuring practice at Greenhill & Co.

Granted, the glut of debt is in no small part attributable to the super-low-interest-rate environment imposed by the Federal Reserve following the crisis. Many companies took advantage and refinanced their debt before 2015 when a large swath was set to mature, kicking the can several years down the road.

But going forward "there’s going to be refinancing at significantly higher rates,” Zelin said, given the Fed in March hiked interest rates to the highest level since 2008 and is expected to unleash at least two more hikes in 2018.

Refinancing at higher rates will further shrink the margin of error for troubled companies, as they'll have to dedicate additional cash flow to cover more expensive interest payments.

"When you have highly leveraged companies and even a modest rise in interest rates, that can result in an increase in restructuring activity," Irwin Gold, executive chairman at Houlihan Lokey and cofounder of the firm's restructuring group, said.

And as some bankers said, with investors stretching for yield amid low interest rates, covenant packages on debt deals have grown increasingly flimsy.

But another reason for optimism has to do with how restructuring has changed since the financial crisis. For top firms, it's become all-weather business in which bankers can earn fees by solving problems and cleaning up balance sheets before a company is teetering upon financial ruin.

"The way restructuring used to work, it was more of an episodic business associated primarily with a spike in default rates," Gold said. "When you get an environment like 2009, 2010, you’re obviously swimming in opportunities, but we’re quite busy right now and we have been for the last couple of years. We're always prepared. We’re going after opportunities all the time."

Part of Moelis & Co.'s strategy involves working with clients before they ever end up in bankruptcy court — arranging debt buybacks and using exchange offers to lessen the debt load and capture discounts. About 50% of its restructuring mandates are completed out of court, according to the firm.

'There will be a massive amount of work to do'

Still, some firms have been filling out their rosters with talent to be prepared should the economy take a turn for the worse.

"The restructuring business is a good business during normal times and an excellent business during a recessionary environment," Augustine said. "Ultimately, when a recession or credit correction does happen, there will be a massive amount of work to do on the restructuring side"

Greenhill hired Augustine from Rothschild in March to cohead its restructuring practice. The firm also hired George Mack from Barclays last summer to cohead restructuring. The duo, along with Greenhill vet and fellow cohead Eric Mendelsohn, are building out the firm's team from a six-person operation to 25 bankers.

Evercore Partners in May hired Gregory Berube, formerly the head of Americas restructuring at Goldman Sachs, as a senior managing director. The firm also poached Roopesh Shah, formerly the chief of Goldman Sachs' restructuring business, to join its restructuring business in early 2017.

"It feels awfully toppy, so people are looking around and saying, 'If I need to build a business, we need to go out and hire some talent,'" one headhunter with restructuring expertise told Business Insider.

It's not exactly a war for talent at this point, though. Firms are primarily adding for junior and mid-level positions, according to the recruiter, who's noticed job advertisements online and in trade publications for restructuring positions from several large firms.

"Places that don't traditionally need to advertise in trade rags are popping up," the recruiter said. Evercore, for instance, has job postings online for restructuring analysts, associates, and vice presidents.

"In our world, people are just anticipating that it’s coming. People are trying to position their teams to be ready for it," Derrough said. "That was the lesson from last cycle: Better to invest early and have a cohesive team that can do the work right away and maybe be a little bit overstaffed early, so that you can execute for your clients when the music ultimately stops."

It's anybody's guess when that day will come, as nobody has a crystal ball, aside from Ken Moelis, who is said to keep one on a stand in his office that he picked up at a flea market in Paris.

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0 Wendy McElroy: Crypto and the Structure of Class Warfare

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Crypto and the Structure of Class Warfare

The Satoshi Revolution: A Revolution of Rising Expectations
Section 4: State Versus Society
Chapter 9, Part 2
Crypto, and the Structure of Class Warfare

The wall separating state and society is crumbling. Or, rather, the state is taking a jackhammer to it in an aggressive attempt to control every aspect of productive and cooperative life…The people you deal with on a daily basis are ceasing to be good neighbors, honest merchants, and disinterested strangers. They are becoming state informants who monitor your expression, your money, your behavior and attitude in order to report you to the authorities. They are ceasing to be “society” and becoming instead “the state.”

Murray Rothbard

Cryptocurrency has an advantage that almost every other alternative money in the past has lacked. It does not mimic state-issued currency or state-controlled transfer systems, such as banks. Its revolutionary structure and function are as uniquely compatible with society as they are antagonistic to the state.

State versus society: Libertarian class analysis is based on the interaction of the two categories, which are in irresolvable conflict with each other. The structure of each class–the arrangement of their parts according to a unifying theme—are also antagonistic. Into this analysis, crypto enters with a framework that rebukes the state and provides society with what it has sadly lacked: a free-market money for the average person. The compatibility of crypto and the free market and crypto is born out by their remarkably similar structures. (“Society” and “the free market are used as synonyms here because, in its broadest definition, the free market” is more than an economic dynamic; for example, there can be a free market of ideas. Broadly defined, the term refers to any free exchange.)

The Structure of State, Society, and Crypto

“Form follows function” means that the basic shape of a thing is determined by its purpose. For Frank Lloyd Wright, the two were inseparable. “Form follows function-that has been misunderstood,” Wright observed. “Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union.”
This is true of government or the state; it is also true of society.

The function of a state is to regulate society in a manner that maintains its own existence and privileges. The state uses force or the threat of force to impose its policies; behind every law is a gun and its intimidation value. The purpose of the state defines its form; coercive agencies, such as law enforcement and the military, abound. Intrusive practices, such as the widespread collection of personal data, are the norm. In turn, the agencies and practices require intense centralization and bureaucracy.

The function of society is as a venue where individuals interact peacefully for mutual benefit, whether that benefit is defined in economic, spiritual, or other terms. Society is voluntary, with legal obligations arising only from contract and consent. Because individuals are diverse and unpredictable, the form of society is fluid, quick to respond, and highly decentralized.

The two classes are at war because the state produces no wealth of its own; it takes what is needed from society through taxation in its various manifestations, including inflation. To do so, the state asserts its authority over the peaceful behavior of others, which the others resent.

The state does more than loot society, however. It usurps the functions of society—the interactions that should occur on the free market–such as road construction and financial institutions. Over time, segments of society are reshaped to resemble arms of the state. Banks are a prime example. Free-market banks would serve the needs of customers, including privacy. Current banks are information gathering centers for the state, with customer requirements being secondary.

In the past, the state’s encroachment upon society enjoyed a huge advantage; the state controls the legal definition of money, its issuance and much of its flow. Society had to accept fiat, to tolerate monetary policies, and to live with banking rules. At least, society had no real choice until the explosion of cryptocurrency. Suddenly, individuals became their own banks, and they made their own exchanges…all without the state.

Crypto is the money of society, the money of people. This status is not negated by the fact that some people become ridiculously wealthy through crypto; the free market has always rewarded successful innovators and early adopters. The status is not damaged by crypto experiments that fail; the free market is a brutal laboratory, with many dead ends. Imprudent people, who lose money through foolish acts, discover that the free market is also a corrective mechanism, without compassion. Even fraud does not cast a shadow on crypto as the money of society. Fraud haunts all human activities, especially lucrative ones. And those who appeal to the state for a remedy should remember that the state is institutionalized fraud and theft. Over time, the free market tends toward self-regulation.

What can threaten crypto’s role as the money of society? The greatest danger is the drive to change the function and form crypto from being an expression of society into an expression of the state. The drive for so-called “respectability” involves regulation, state-issuance, and other measures that would reduce crypto to another form of fiat, another form of central banking.

Crypto and Society Share the Same Basic Form

One indication of crypto being the money of society is that the two have the same basic function and form. The function is to empower the individual; form follows. It is no wonder that crypto’s structure parallels that of society itself. The parallels include,

  • A hard structure underlies them both. For crypto, it is the immutable blockchain that is remarkably immune to manipulation or exploitation; for society, it is the inviolable principle of non-aggression.
  • The frameworks do not inhibit diversity. Their security and freedom encourage almost infinite innovations. A major reason: Adopting the underlying structure is not a matter of law but of choice, which is unrestricted thereafter.
  • Third parties are not necessary for many of the transactions. For a complicated exchange, such as one that demands escrow, a third party is useful. Even then, however, the amount of trust required can be limited by strategies like getting in and out quickly.
  • There is no barrier to entry. No state license, no permission, no legal forms.
  • Both crypto and society are decentralized. Among the many advantages of this is that neither has a single point of failure where the entire system is vulnerable to bad actors.
  • The individual is the locus of power. As long as a person retains his or her keys, that person controls their use. The parallel in society is the individual’s right to say “no.”
  • Transactions can be pseudonymous or announced to the world, depending on individual preferences. Crypto purchased with a faux identity, which uses a different wallet for each transaction, can be almost as anonymous as cash.
  • Exchanges are not ideological or political. Crypto and the free market are great levelers of traditional social distinctions, such as the race or religion of a buyer or seller.
  • Crypto and society are both worlds in which wealth is based on merit, including the profits that properly come from taking risks that succeed.

By contrast, the structure of the state is antithetical to that of crypto and the free market. It is based on coercion rather than consent; it is centralized rather decentralized; its wealth comes from confiscation rather than merit. Form follows function.


There is a popular myth about crypto. Namely, that free and state-controlled crypto can co-exist. In theory, it is possible. In practice, it will not happen because state-issued or state-controlled crypto does not merely differ in terms of its origin but also in terms of its form. Crypto cannot serve both state and society; it cannot express both centralized control and decentralized choice. The two may exist in parallel for a time but, inevitably, the state will reach for a monopoly.

Crypto is becoming a new frontier in class warfare between the state and society. The state will try to reshape crypto in order to serve its own purposes. Instead of privacy and individual choice, state crypto will involve total disclosure and regulation. Instead of accessibility for all and the absence of trusted third parties, there will be licenses or bank-like exchanges becoming an unavoidable third party. The incredible benefit of crypto to society will be turned upside down, and it will become a benefit to the state.

State-issued or controlled crypto will be a bitter mockery of the original vision, but it is coming. And one of the major impacts of the Brave New money will be almost invisible; the basic form of crypto will become the opposite of what it was created to express. This goes with the function of crypto changing.

The best hope for free-market crypto is that concepts, such as decentralization, are so deeply embedded into its structure that a state-issue is doomed to fail. As a next resort, of course, the state will regulate what it cannot create. Society’s money will become a bit riskier and more difficult to use.

[To be continued next week.]

Reprints of this article should credit and include a link back to the original links to all previous chapters

Wendy McElroy has agreed to ”live-publish” her new book The Satoshi Revolution exclusively with Every Saturday you’ll find another installment in a series of posts planned to conclude after about 18 months. Altogether they’ll make up her new book ”The Satoshi Revolution”. Read it here first.

The post Wendy McElroy: Crypto and the Structure of Class Warfare appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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0 The 11 best-reviewed movies of 2018 so far

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Black Panther

It's only halfway through 2018, but moviegoers have already been spoiled by some fantastic films.

From sci-fi wizard Alex Garland's "Annihilation," to newcomer Ari Aster's horror instant classic "Hereditary," the first half of 2018 was chock-full of polarizing, thought-provoking movies that will be talked about for years to come.

But not even those top the list of the best movies of the year so far, at least according to critics. We've looked back at the best-reviewed movies of the year that have come to theaters and ranked them based on Rotten Tomatoes critic scores (we broke ties with audience scores). They range from a long-awaited animated sequel to a superhero blockbuster to a surprise horror hit.

Below are 11 of the best movies of the year so far, according to critics:

SEE ALSO: Every 'Jurassic Park' movie, ranked from worst to best

11. "Lean on Pete"

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 92%

Description: "Fifteen-year-old Charley Thompson (Charlie Plummer) arrives in Portland, Oregon with his single father Ray (Travis Fimmel), both of them eager for a fresh start after a series of hard knocks. While Ray descends into personal turmoil, Charley finds acceptance and camaraderie at a local racetrack where he lands a job caring for an aging Quarter Horse named Lean On Pete. The horse’s gruff owner Del Montgomery (Steve Buscemi) and his seasoned jockey Bonnie (Chloë Sevigny) help Charley fill the void of his father’s absence—until he discovers that Pete is bound for slaughter, prompting him to take extreme measures to spare his new friend’s life. Charley and Pete head out into the great unknown, embarking on an odyssey across the new American frontier in search of a loving aunt Charley hasn’t seen in years. They experience adventure and heartbreak in equal measure, but never lose their irrepressible hope and resiliency as they pursue their dream of finding a place they can call home."

10. "RBG"

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 93%

Description: "At the age of 85, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has developed a breathtaking legal legacy while becoming an unexpected pop culture icon. But without a definitive Ginsburg biography, the unique personal journey of this diminutive, quiet warrior's rise to the nation's highest court has been largely unknown, even to some of her biggest fans - until now. RBG is a revelatory documentary exploring Ginsburg 's exceptional life and career from Betsy West and Julie Cohen, and co-produced by Storyville Films and CNN Films."

9. "Incredibles 2"

Rotten Tomatoes critic score: 94%

Description: "In 'Incredibles 2,' Helen (voice of Holly Hunter) is called on to lead a campaign to bring Supers back, while Bob (voice of Craig T. Nelson) navigates the day-to-day heroics of “normal” life at home with Violet (voice of Sarah Vowell), Dash (voice of Huck Milner) and baby Jack-Jack—whose super powers are about to be discovered. Their mission is derailed, however, when a new villain emerges with a brilliant and dangerous plot that threatens everything. But the Parrs don’t shy away from a challenge, especially with Frozone (voice of Samuel L. Jackson) by their side. That’s what makes this family so Incredible."

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0 Drake says he dated Bella Hadid on his new album 'Scorpion' — and it looks like she's still on his mind

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bella hadid drake scorpion

  • Drake more or less confirmed that he dated Bella Hadid on his new album "Scorpion." 
  •  In the songs "Sandra's Rose," and "Finesse," he raps lyrics that imply he dated her — and also gives a shout-out to Gigi Hadid.
  • Despite rumors that Drake had ghosted Hadid, he admits that she's still on his mind.
  • Hadid denies that the two ever dated.

At midnight on June 29, Drake released his latest album, "Scorpion."

The biggest takeaway from the 25-song album is that Drake does have a son, as Pusha-T previously implied on his diss track "The Story of Adidon." But Drake also let some information about his love life slip on the album — specifically that he dated Bella Hadid and, apparently, he still thinks of her.

Drake and Hadid had been rumored to be casually dating late last year, which, according to Teen Vogue, caused some friction between Drake and Hadid's ex, The Weeknd. The rumors were short-lived, and neither Drake nor Hadid confirmed the fling. But in November 2017, Us Weekly reported that Drake "basically ghosted" Hadid. (If this is true, then at least Hadid isn't alone — Drake also reportedly ghosted on Tiffany Haddish.)

But now, based on two songs from "Scorpion" identified by Vulture, Drake appears to regret his decision to ghost Hadid. In the song "Sandra's Rose," Drake raps, "my house is full of supermodels just like Mohammed Hadid." Mohammed Hadid is, of course, the father of Gigi and Bella Hadid, so this seems to be the first call-out to Hadid.

Then, on the track "Finesse," he says, "I want my baby to have your eyes, I'm going against my own advice / Should I do New York? I can't decide / Fashion week is more your thing than mine." Though this could be a reference to many people, But Hadid frequently appears in fashion week shows in New York and she also has characteristically lovely eyes.

Later in the song, he raps, "You stay on my mind / You and your sister too hot to handle."

Fans certainly seem to be convinced that Drake is referring to Hadid on the album.

Considering that Hadid is a model and sister to fellow model, Gigi Hadid, it all seemed very plausible that Drake was singing about her — until Hadid replied to a Tweet from Perez Hilton.

Hilton asked if the dating rumors were true, citing Drake's new album, but Hadid said the songs aren't about her and that it's disrespectful to assume so. She also implied the two are merely friends.

For now, the song's lyrics remain a mystery. For more revelations you may have missed from Drake's new album, click here.

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0 The 4 most surprising revelations you may have missed on Drake's album 'Scorpion'

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Drake rapper NBA Awards

  • On Friday, Drake released a monster 25-track album called "Scorpion."
  • As expected, Drake really opened up on the album.
  • Here are four major details you might have missed, ranging from his feuds, not-so-secret child, reported relationship with Bella Hadid, and feud with Pusha T. 

On Friday, Drake released a 25-track album called "Scorpion." 

As Vulture first noted, Drake, a noted Scorpio, really opened up in the 89-minute album.

The record covers a lot of ground, and Drake leaves no stone left unturned. From his feuds to his not-so-secret child, here are four major things you may have missed on "Scorpion."

Drake seems to confirm that he's a dad.

In May, Drake was feuding with Pusha T. In a diss track entitled "The Story of Adidon," Pusha T accused Drake of "hiding a child." In several tracks on "Scorpion," Drake seems to confirm that he is a dad.

"Look at the way we live / I wasn't hiding my kid from the world, I was hiding the world from my kid," Drake raps on the "Scorpion" track "Emotionless," which seems to confirm the existence of his first child.

"Breaking news in my life I don't run to the blogs / The only ones I want to tell are in my phone I can call / They always ask, 'Why let it run if it's false' / You know a wise man once said nothing at all," Drake says, apparently addressing the criticism that he didn't respond to Pusha T.

The theme of paternity runs through the album.

In "8 out of 10," Drake denies accusations that he's a bad father. "The only deadbeats is whatever beats I been rappin' to / Never a matter of could I or should I / Kiss my son on his forehead and kiss your a-- goodbye / As luck would have it I'm settled into my role as the good guy."

"Daddy got suits like Bernie Mac, he dresses himself / I stopped askin' myself and I started feelin' myself," he says on "Survival."

And in case anyone didn't get the hint, he's pretty explicit on "Mob Ties," saying, "I'm not with the rah-rah, I am a da-da."

Drake also addressed his feud with Pusha T.

Speaking of that Pusha T diss track, Drake addressed it in several songs on the album.

Most notably, he attempted to write the whole thing off on "Peak," rapping, "What you thought of me never had me missing a beat / That's just a view from a cheap seat / They don't want problems with me / Talk used to be cheap, nowadays it's free / People are only as tough as they phones allow them to be."

"March 14" is the most revealing track.

On "March 14," Drake raps about coming to terms with being a father.  

For context, TMZ initially broke the story in May 2017 that Drake had fathered a child named Adonis with former adult film actress Sophie Brussaux. At the time, a rep for Drake denied the claim but noted, "if it is, in fact, Drake's child, which he does not believe, he would do the right thing by the child."

Most recently, TMZ reported that the rapper has been financially supporting Brussaux for months — and that inside sources claim he had already planned "to reveal everything about his new son on his upcoming album" before Pusha T's accusations.

The track starts out on a particularly candid note.

"Yesterday morning was crazy / I had to come to terms with the fact that it's not a maybe / That shit is in stone, sealed and signed / She's not my lover like Billie Jean, but the kid is mine / Sandi [Drake's mother] used to tell me all it takes is one time / S---, we only met two times. Two times / And both times were nothing like the new times / Now it's rough times/ I'm out here on front lines just tryna make sure that I see him sometimes. It's breaking my spirit / A single father, I hate when I hear it."

For Drake, it seems that fatherhood has been bittersweet.

"This the first positive DNA we ever celebrated / I can't forget the looks on they faces / Got the news in Miami that we all now got ones that we raisin' / Tell Jello bring some, uh, Rosé and Baccarat out for our cheers to the next generation / But this champagne toast is short-lived / I got an empty crib in my empty crib / I only met you one time, introduced you to Saint Nick / I think he must've brought you like twenty gifts."

And then he seemed to confirm that Adonis was born on October 11.

"October baby for irony sake, of course / I got this 11 tatted for somebody, now it's yours / And believe me, I can't wait to get a hunnid more / Sorry I'm vintage, tryna cover ground / They said that in two weeks you're supposed to come in town / Hopefully by the time you hear this me and your mother will have come around instead of always cutting each other down."

It seems like he's hung up on Bella Hadid.

Bella Hadid and Drake reportedly dated in June 2017. But, apparently, he ghosted her later that year, an anonymous source told Us Weekly.

Now on "Scorpion," Drake appeared to leave little to the imagination.

"My house is full of supermodels just like Mohammed Hadid," Drake said on "Sandra's Rose." Mohammed Hadid is the father of Bella, Gigi, and their brother Anwar Hadid

The references continue on "Finesse," which comes later in the album. "I want my baby to have your eyes / I'm going against my own advice / Should I do New York? I can't decide / Fashion week is more your thing than mine," he raps seemingly to Hadid, a noted fashion model. 

Later on the track, he makes another pointed reference, despite the aforementioned alleged ghosting. "You stay on my mind / You and your sister too hot to handle," he said referring to Gigi, who is also a model.

Hadid denied on Twitter that the two had dated, writing that the lyrics aren't about her and the two are just friends.


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0 Bella Hadid denies that Drake's new song 'Finesse' is about her

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bella hadid

  • Fans thought that Drake's new album "Scorpion" confirmed rumors that he and Bella Hadid had dated.
  • Lyrics from both "Sandra Rose" and "Finesse" seemed to make references to Hadid.
  • But Hadid denied that the songs are about her in a recent Tweet.
  • Replying to Perez Hilton and one other Twitter user, she called the claim "disrespectful."

Drake released a new album, "Scorpion," on Friday.

The 25-track album has brought to light several revelations about the rapper, such as the fact that he's a dad.

Another revelation that really got fans talking was that Drake seemed to confirm a fling he reportedly had with Bella Hadid. Rumors circulated last year that the pair were casually dating, although neither ever confirmed or denied the rumor. 

When fans heard two songs on the album — "Sandra Rose" and "Finesse" — they thought that Drake was rapping about Hadid. In "Sanda Rose," he mentions Mohammed Hadid, who is Bella's father. In "Finesse," he raps "Fashion week is more your thing than mine," and "You stay on my mind / You and your sister too hot to handle."

Considering that Hadid is a model and sister to fellow model, Gigi Hadid, it all seemed very plausible that Drake was singing about her — until Hadid replied to a Tweet from Perez Hilton. Hilton asked if the dating rumors were true, citing Drake's new album. Twitter user Slipster1 replied "probably, who hasn't he banged. #jealous." Hadid then shot back that the songs aren't about her and that it's disrespectful to assume so. 


Hadid also expressed frustration at never being able to just be friends with someone, without any insinuations, further making the point that there was never anything serious going on between her and Drake.

In response, many people rushed to support Hadid, while others gave suggestions for who the songs were really about.

For now, the songs' lyrics remain a mystery. For more revelations you may have missed from Drake's new album, click here.

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0 A chef creates desserts that look like random everyday objects — and his optical illusions will play tricks on your eyes

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chef ben churchill cake

At first glance, Ben Churchill's Instagram and Facebook pages seem to be filled with photos of random, inedible objects and savory dishes like eggs over toast.

But the professional chef, who taught himself how to make desserts three years ago, is actually an expert in all things sweet. A self-described food illusionist, Churchill regularly transforms decadent cakes into dirty kitchen sponges, fresh parfaits into moldy oranges, and panna cottas into ashtrays — all while ensuring his creations remain delicious, despite what they may look like.

We recently spoke with Churchill to find out more about his expectation-defying desserts. Take a closer look at his mind-blowing illusions below.

Churchill makes desserts that look exactly like random everyday objects.

One of his most well-known creations is an olive oil sponge cake that's disguised as a dirty kitchen sponge. Churchill tops the cake with a mint crumb, which resembles the abrasive side of a sponge, and foamed sweet milk "soap suds." He also adds toffee sauce and a baked apple coulis to mimic the appearance of dirty dishwater and dishwashing soap, respectively.


Many of his creations are intentionally designed to look inedible.

If you're willing to take a bite of this moldy orange, you'll find that it's actually a fresh orange parfait, covered with a dusting of white and green bubblegum meringue powder.

Although he's been a professional chef for over a decade, Churchill is self-taught when it comes to desserts.

Speaking to INSIDER, the chef said that he started teaching himself "standard" pastry techniques in 2015. One day, he "decided to see if [he] could make a chocolate shell shaped like a lemon," which he says sparked his passion for food illusions.

His sweet experiments clearly paid off. In the past three years, Churchill has amassed over 100,000 followers on Facebook and Instagram combined.

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0 The Apple-Samsung 'thermonuclear war' over Android is over, but at least we got these iPhone prototype photos out of the battle (AAPL)

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  • Apple and Samsung settled a seven-year patent dispute earlier this week.
  • The terms of the settlement aren't known.  
  • For most people and Apple fans, there are no easy takeaways from the end of the case. 
  • But please enjoy photos of several early internal iPhone models were made public as part of the court battle.

Apple and Samsung settled a court battle on Wednesday over Apple's allegation that Samsung violated its patents and copied the design of the iPhone. 

It's the end of an era as the seven-year spat has come to an end. Apple fought the battle because late CEO Steve Jobs believed Android copied the iPhone, and he declared "thermonuclear war" on Android, according to Walter Issacson's biography. Samsung, as the premier Android manufacturer, became the target, not Google. 

Now, the two sides have settled. Terms of the settlement are not public, according to Reuters. The U.S. Supreme Court ordered a $399 million award against Samsung late last year, but district judge Lucy Koh ordered a new trial on earlier this year. Samsung had previously paid Apple $548 million.

Apple told Reuters that the "case has always been more about money." 

Apple fans may remember the legal battle not for legal minutia over design patents, but rather for giving us the best look ever into Apple's prototype design process.

In 2012, Samsung filed exhibits that lifted the veil of secrecy around how Apple comes up with new products. Among sketches, emails, and computer files, one exhibit included a slew of photographs of actual iPhone prototype designs.

The designs range from a chunky iPad design to models that you might be able to recognize as early iPhones. It also includes several interesting design directions that Apple decided not to pursue, including a MacBook Air-like aluminum shell and an iPhone with eight sides and squared-off corners. 

"While Apple has been able to keep some things private, there have clearly been more things made public than the secretive company would prefer," Ina Fried wrote at the time for AllThingsD.

The photos have been reproduced below. Take a look: 

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0 It's safe to buy a new MacBook laptop now that Apple has finally addressed the "butterfly" keyboard problems

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  • Apple is finally addressing the butterfly keyboard issues with its latest MacBook Pro and MacBook laptops. 
  • You get 4 years of coverage to repair a defective keyboard free of charge. 
  • That means it's safe again to recommend Apple's MacBooks and latest MacBook Pros that come with butterfly keyboards. 
  • It's still a hassle to take your laptop to get a defective key repaired, but at least it's free. 

Apple finally acknowledged last Friday that its "butterfly" keyboard has a problem, and the company "will service eligible MacBook and MacBook Pro keyboards, free of charge," it said on a support webpage regarding the matter. 

That means it's safe again to recommend Apple's MacBook laptops that come with the butterfly keyboard, which includes the 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pros, as well as the 2015-2017 MacBooks. 

Before Apple's official recognition of the butterfly keyboard issues that several users were experiencing — myself included — it could be argued that it was the worst time to buy a new MacBook Pro or MacBook. If you did buy a new Apple laptop that came with a butterfly keyboard, you'd have only one year of standard warranty to fix a keyboard issue if you faced one.

Those problems included keys that repeat unexpectedly, keys that don't register at all, or keys that "feel 'sticky' or do not respond in a consistent manner."

2016 macbook pro refurbished top

After the one-year standard warranty — and if you didn't buy AppleCare+ — you could be left with a massive repair bill to fix a mundane issue with your butterfly keyboard. Repairs often involved replacing the entire top case of defective units, which includes the entire section where your keyboard lies, as well as the laptop's battery. For one of my own repairs on my 2016 15-inch MacBook Pro where the "G" key stopped working for a second time, Apple had to replace the entire logic board, which included the processor, RAM, graphics chip, storage, and the motherboard that all those components rest on. In that same repair, the company had to replace the top case, as well. 

Out of warranty and without AppleCare+, those repairs could cost hundreds of dollars, all for a single (or more) defective key. Thankfully, my laptop was still under warranty for the repair.

Indeed, it was a bad idea to buy a MacBook laptop with a butterfly keyboard before Apple finally recognized the problem with its butterfly keyboard, at least if you weren't planning on buying AppleCare+ for the extended coverage. I couldn't recommend those laptops in good conscience.

With Apple's keyboard service program for MacBook and MacBook Pro, you can bring a unit with a defective keyboard to get repaired by Apple free of charge for four years after the first retail sale of your unit. It's not an extension of the standard one-year warranty, so it's not five years of coverage. If you were charged for a repair, you can get in touch with Apple to get a refund. 

It's a hassle to take your unit to an Apple store or send it to Apple for a repair, as you shouldn't really have to in the first place. But at least it's free and it's better than the standard one-year warranty or buying AppleCare+ specifically for the fear that your butterfly keyboard will start acting up. 

SEE ALSO: Apple fans are raging that the new MacBook Pro has an unreliable keyboard — so I wrote this article with one to show you how bad it can be

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0 The 9 best new TV shows of 2018 so far

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American Crime Story VersaceNow that we're halfway through the year —and close to Emmys season — we're thinking about the new shows we've loved the most. 

There's good news and bad news: there haven't been that many great shows so far, but less required viewing is a bit better for your TV watching schedule. 

With stellar writing and memorable performances that stand out among the vast TV landscape, these are the best new shows of 2018.

We'll update this list with new shows we love as the year goes on. 

Here are the best TV shows of 2018, ranked (along with their Rotten Tomatoes scores):

SEE ALSO: The 50 Disney movies that made the most money at the US box office

9. "Everything Sucks!" — Netflix

Critic Score: 69%

Audience Score: 90%

"Everything Sucks!" tells the story of Kate Messner, a high school sophomore who's coming to terms with her sexuality. Her journey, which happens to take place in the 90s, showcases how hard it was to be an LGBTQ+ teen two decades ago. The season, which really picks up in the final episodes, also follows a lovely romance between Kate's dad and her friend Luke's mom, which is one of the few "parent" stories on a teen show that's not a complete waste of screen time. Unfortunately, Netflix already canceled the show. But there's an active campaign to bring it back.

8. "Trust" — FX

Critic Score: 76%

Audience Score: 62%

"Trust" tells the story of the Getty family — more specifically the kidnapping of John Paul Getty III in 1973 (sans Christopher Plummer). Brendan Fraser makes a major comeback with his Emmy-worthy performance as James Fletcher Chase. It's also glamorous and quite stylish thanks to executive producer Danny Boyle, who directed a few episodes. 

7. "Killing Eve" — BBC

Critic Score: 100%

Audience Score: 88%

The female-driven "Killing Eve" is stylish, thrilling, and has incredible performances from Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer. It isn't a typical spy thriller, and that's what makes it so great. Oh's performance is truly extraordinary, and proves, like she did with her work on "Grey's Anatomy," that she's one of the best TV actors ever. 

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0 This could be the last year you'll want to buy headphones — a new audio technology is coming in 2019 that could make them obsolete

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  • A startup called Noveto has come up with technology to deliver sound right to your ears without your wearing any device at all.
  • The technology uses focused sound waves.
  • Noveto brought on Brian Wallace, who helped raise $1.4 billion for Magic Leap, to be CEO and help bring the product to market. 

Headphones may start to look like old technology in 2019 when Noveto, a startup based in Israel, showcases its new "focused audio" devices to attendees of the biggest tech show of any year, CES.

Noveto has come up with a technology that can do exactly the same thing as headphones — deliver sound right to your ears without disturbing those around you — except without the headphones themselves. In fact, you wouldn't need to wear any device at all.

Focused audio can come either from a standalone device, which the company is calling Sowlo for now, that looks like a small soundbar or Bluetooth speaker, or from any device that usually makes sound, like a TV, computer monitor, smartphone, or tablet, or even things like a treadmill with Noveto's technology built in.

It emits audio directly to your ears — and it's amazing, quite frankly. During a demo, I was listening to a video clip that I could hear loud and clear, but no one around me could. And I wasn't wearing anything on my head or in my ears.

noveto focused sound

If it sounds familiar, you're maybe thinking of directional audio, which shoots sound in front of the device emitting it. But if you're not directly in front of a directional-audio speaker, you're not going to hear it.

Noveto's focused audio is different — it's "steerable," Tomer Shani, a Noveto cofounder, told Business Insider during an interview. That is to say, Noveto's focused audio can follow you around as you move, something directional audio can't do.

To follow you around, Noveto uses 3D-tracking technology to see where your ears are, and it delivers audio right to them.

"I need to know the position of your ears in space so I know where to build my sound bubbles," Shani told Business Insider of the technology. Shani is one of its main engineers, along with his colleague and cofounder, Noam Babayoff.


Not just a cool idea that'll never make it to the mainstream

Noveto attracted the attention of Brian Wallace, who was brought on to help bring the product to market.

It's a promising move for Noveto. Wallace, now Noveto's CEO, has spun the marketing wheels at some of the biggest names in the tech industry. You may have heard of some of those names, including BlackBerry, Google, Samsung, the mixed-reality company Magic Leap, the smartphone company Essential, and, most recently, the musician's earphone company, At Magic Leap, Wallace helped raise about $1.4 billion.

Brian wallace Profile Pic

When thinking about the viability of Noveto's focused-audio technology to become a mainstream product, my mind went directly to virtual reality.

VR is an amazing piece of tech in the same way that Noveto's technology is amazing. But VR hasn't enjoyed mainstream popularity, partially because of its typically high price tags, and the best setups require powerful computers, cables absolutely everywhere, and even some pretty involved setting up — not to mention there's relatively little content being made for VR at the moment.

Noveto seemingly has fewer pain points that could get in the way of mainstream popularity, mostly because it doesn't require you to really change anything you're already doing to listen to audio, nor would it cost you more than you might already spend on midrange headphones; standalone units are expected to cost $249 to $299, which is on the lower end. Plus, the content for Noveto is already there — music, video, games, and anything else that involves audio.

And then there's the potential for existing products to embed Noveto's technology. This could be amazing in a car, for example. "Each passenger can enjoy their own audio content," Shani said. "The kids in the back seat can see a Walt Disney [movie] for the 15,000th time, and in the front you can hear something else or just enjoy peace and quiet."

Noveto has also attracted interest from Dell for monitors and laptops with embedded focused audio.

noveto in car

How does it sound?

In its existing prototype state, Noveto's technology may not satiate audio-quality enthusiasts. But the sound quality is likely to dramatically improve as development progresses.

Wallace said he believes Noveto could easily give its devices better sound quality than one of the most popular headphones you can buy today.

"Are we going to replace a $10,000 home surround system? No," Wallace said. "But can we replace 80% of what's out there? Yes, 100%."

noveto focused audio prototype

For now, the focus is to give you personal, private audio listening without wearing something on your head and ears, all while staying aware of your surroundings.

During the demo in a busy hotel lobby, I could hear the video, as well as the activity around me. The only major issue I have is how it works if you're perpendicular to the device. At a 90-degree angle, the sound bubble would be able to reach only the ear facing the device.

"We can correct for this by positioning the system above the user, allowing us to track the ears no matter the position of the head," Wallace said. That could mean some extra setting up on the ceiling for home use if you anticipate you won't be facing the audio source at all times.

Noveto expects the devices to be ready and available to buy by fall 2019.

"The tech is real, ready, and everything set to go," Wallace said.

SEE ALSO: Sonos and Ikea are teaming up to create a speaker that can act as a shelf

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0 Amazon Prime has invaded Whole Foods stores, but an important word is notably absent (AMZN)

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Whole Foods Prime

  • Amazon has fully infiltrated Whole Foods stores as its discounts for Prime members have been expanded to all US locations.
  • But while Prime is fully integrated into the store, the word "Amazon" is nowhere to be seen.
  • Amazon's brand has become increasingly loaded as it draws detractors across demographics.

Amazon has officially left its mark on Whole Foods stores — though not with its name.

Discounts for Amazon Prime members have now rolled out to all Whole Foods stores across the country. The signage is plentiful and immediately apparent. The in-store advertising looks to be on every surface imaginable, as seen in a recent walk-through of a Whole Foods store by Business Insider's Hayley Peterson. 

One thing that is missing: the word Amazon. The new deals in Whole Foods are specifically called "Prime deals," not "Amazon Prime deals." None of the signage or materials mention the word Amazon, and there's no orange — Amazon's usual color — as Prime's blue hue instead takes on a dominant role. There is some yellow, but that was the color that Whole Foods had already used to mark sales.

Not even Whole Foods' new app, which customers open to scan a barcode at checkout in order to access discounts, mentions Amazon.

Amazon recently refreshed Prime's branding, dropping "Amazon" in favor of simplifying it to just Prime. This divorces Prime from Amazon itself, instead making it a sort of membership for all of Amazon's offerings, like Whole Foods, and to a much lesser extent, the video-game streaming platform Twitch. 

But the separation could be for another reason, as Amazon becomes a more loaded brand than it had been previously. Instead of just standing for stellar customer service and reliably delivered packages, to some Amazon is also an outrageously successful company that is taking advantage of its position, Business Insider's Kate Taylor reported.

Amazon has fielded criticism for things like pitting cities against each other in its ongoing second headquarters search, and for refusing to take NRATV off Prime Video. A study by Policy Matters Ohio in January found that 700 Amazon workers in the state received food stamps benefits.

As Amazon now tries to get its clutches around the roughly 25% of Whole Foods shoppers who aren't already Prime members, not mentioning the word "Amazon" might actually be easier.

SEE ALSO: Amazon's plan to take over physical retail is finally becoming more clear

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