Business Insider
Analyzing the top news stories across the web

July 29 2016 11:26 AM

Yahoo Is Being Sold, but It’s Hiring Like Crazy. Huh?

This post originally appeared on Business Insider.

July 18 was a big day at Yahoo: It announced its second-quarter earnings and took the final bids for the auction of its core business, which eventually sold to Verizon.

But it appears that day marked the start of a new trend at Yahoo as well—a massive hiring spree.

July 28 2016 12:27 PM

Why Sports Authority’s Bankruptcy Has the Rest of the Retail Industry Feeling Spooked

This post originally appeared on Business Insider.

Sports Authority’s bankruptcy and total liquidation means more than just the end of an iconic sporting goods dealer.

It could spell trouble for retailers.

Bloomberg reports that Sports Authority’s collapse has made retailers concerned about the way they have been operating.

“You could make the argument that given the state of retail, everyone’s going to be analyzing—whether or not it’s retailers or lenders—what makes the most sense and, in particular, vendors,”  Mike Murray, senior managing director at Wells Fargo & Co, said to Bloomberg.

The consignment business model is one area that retailers are concerned about, as Bloomberg notes that Sports Authority explained in court documents that the business had $85 million worth of consigned items in stores at the beginning of its bankruptcy.

July 25 2016 12:39 PM

Nintendo’s Stock Plummeted After It Said Pokémon Go Would Have a Limited Effect on Its Business

This post originally appeared in Business Insider Australia.

Shares in Nintendo, which owns 32 percent of the global phenomenon Pokémon Go, have tanked in trade on the Nikkei.

The stock closed down by more than 17 percent on Monday, following a statement from the company late Friday that the financial impact of the smartphone game would be “limited.”

July 22 2016 1:11 PM

Watch a State Department Spokesman Catch a Reporter Playing Pokémon Go in a Press Conference

This post originally appeared on Business Insider.

On Thursday a U.S. State Department press briefing was interrupted when spokesman John Kirby stopped to ask a reporter if he was playing Pokémon Go.

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Kirby stopped mid-sentence to say, “You’re playing the Pokémon thing right there, aren't you?”

Here's the exchange via the State Department transcript:

Kirby:  ... As the amount of anti-ISIL content continues to eclipse pro-ISIL content online, the working group renewed its commitment to launching innovative international campaigns and expanding regional and global networks and accelerating global efforts to confront them in the information space.
As the Secretary said earlier today, though, and I think it’s an important reminder—you’re playing the Pokémon thing right there, aren’t you?
Reporter: I’m just keeping an eye on it.
Kirby: It’s an important reminder – we know this won't be easy. We recognize it’s a challenge, and we’re clear-eyed about the work we still have to do. This is why we convened this important ministerial and will continue to work with our coalition partners to defeat Daesh—did you get one?
Reporter: No. The signal is not very good.
Kirby: Sorry about that.

Here’s the full video of the press briefing:

July 21 2016 1:20 PM

The Google Lab Whose A.I. Beat the World’s Go Champion Has a New Job: HVAC

This post originally appeared on Business Insider.

Google forked out over $500 million for a little-known London startup called DeepMind in 2014 without specifying how the company’s artificial-intelligence technology would be used to increase Google’s revenues, which already run into tens of billions of dollars every year.

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That all changed on Wednesday when DeepMind announced that Google had found a use for DeepMind’s technology in its enormous data centers.

Since being acquired by Google, DeepMind’s AI has been used to beat humans at board games and create free apps with the National Health Service. Neither application has helped Google make—or save—any money.

But now Google is using a DeepMind AI system to control the huge air-conditioning units in its power-hungry data centers, where servers consume enough energy to power entire cities and get very hot in the process.

The AI system does this by predicting how much air conditioning will be needed to deal with an anticipated change in data-center temperature, which fluctuates as demand for services like YouTube, Google Maps, and Gmail rises and falls.

DeepMind says its AI can make the cooling units in Google’s data centers 40 percent more efficient, ultimately cutting the data centers’ overall electricity consumption by 15 percent.

DeepMind’s technology has been deployed across only a handful of Google’s data centers, but Google is planning to introduce the company’s machine-learning software to all 15 of its data centers by the end of the year, potentially resulting in massive energy savings on Google’s sizable electricity bill.

DeepMind cofounder Mustafa Suleyman was unable to say how much money Google stood to save on its electricity bill, but the figure could run into tens or even hundreds of millions given the size of Google’s data-center operation. In 2011, Google’s data centers reportedly used 0.01 percent of the world's electricity.

But data centers aren’t the only place where DeepMind can have an effect on Google’s bottom line.

The company has also said in the past couple of months that it intends to sell its products and services to healthcare providers like the NHS at some point, providing Google with an additional revenue stream.

All of this adds up to make DeepMind an interesting acquisition that could create significantly more than the $500 million Google paid for the startup.

“DeepMind looks to be an acquisition of YouTube/Android significance for Google,” Chris Lacy, an entrepreneur and software developer, wrote on Twitter, prompting a retweet from one of DeepMind’s employees.

July 20 2016 5:14 PM

Why Starbucks Are Suddenly Running Out of Coconut Milk

his post originally appeared on Business Insider.

Starbucks across the country are running out of coconut milk, thanks to the runaway success of two new beverages.

On July 12, Starbucks launched the iced coconut milk mocha macchiato, its first-ever beverage with a coconut milk base.

July 19 2016 12:47 PM

Starbucks Is Banning Porn From Its Free Wi-Fi

Customers will soon no longer be able to watch porn at Starbucks.

The coffee giant will soon block explicit websites, CNN reports.

“Once we determine that our customers can access our free Wi-Fi in a way that also doesn’t involuntarily block unintended content, we will implement this in our stores,” a Starbucks spokesperson told CNN on Friday.

“In the meantime, we reserve the right to stop any behavior that interferes with our customer experience, including what is accessed on our free Wi-Fi.”

The new policy comes after years of pressure from the internet-safety organization Enough is Enough.

“We are pleased by Starbucks’ decision to make its stores safer for families and children by pursuing an effective Wi-Fi filtering solution,” Donna Rice Hughes, president of EIE, said in a statement.

“We are hopeful that in the very near future, Starbucks will be filtering their coffee and their Wi-Fi, both nationally and globally.”

Starbucks’ decision comes on the heels of McDonald’s decision to implement a filtered Wi-Fi policy in corporate locations. Other chains that have agreed to filter Wi-Fi include Panera Bread, Subway, and Chick-fil-A.

July 18 2016 1:57 PM

Calorie Counts Are Coming to Some American Beers

Soon, beer bottles and cans will contain calorie counts.

On Tuesday, the hugely influential Beer Institute, a trade association, announced an initiative to encourage companies to display information such as calories, carbohydrates, and alcohol by volume on all beverage labels. The organization's members include Anheuser-Busch, MillerCoors, and the Craft Brew Alliance, and they produce more than 81 percent of all beer, by volume, sold in the U.S.

July 14 2016 6:09 PM

Taco Bell’s Newest Dish Is Massive and Possibly Obscene

Taco Bell is launching a Triple Double Crunchwrap.

The new dish contains double layers of seasoned beef, nacho sauce, and tostada shell. In addition to the regular Triple Double Crunchwrap, the chain will also be selling a spicy version with fresh jalapeños and spicy ranch sauce.

Taco Bell added the new dish to the menu on Thursday, July 14. Both versions of the Triple Double Crunchwrap will be priced at $3.49.

Excited Taco Bell fans are already buzzing about the new dish. Some Reddit users are plotting a potential overnight tailgate to get the Triple Double Crunchwrap at the earliest possible moment, and Taco Bell customers are taking to social media to discuss the item.

Customers who managed to sneak an early taste of the Triple Double Crunchwrap are saying that it’s tasty—and huge.

Taco Bell launched the Crunchwrap Supreme in 2005, at which time it was Taco Bell’s most successful product introduction.

July 14 2016 12:04 PM

Drinking Wine From Cans Is Now Popular and Acceptable

The future of wine is here, and it comes in a can.

Canned wine sales have more than doubled in the past year, growing 125.2 percent in sales in the 52 weeks ending on June 18, according to new Nielsen data.

In that period, the canned wine industry drove $6.4 million in sales.

Wine in a can has been on the shelves for the last few years, clocking in as a $1.9-million industry in the year ending in June 2012.

However, most of the business prior to last year was primarily in sparkling wine, such as Sofia mini champagnes, with sparkling wine making up 90 percent of all canned wine sales in 2012.

But that’s all changed.

Canned table-wine sales increased tenfold, from $668,003 in the year ending in June 2015, to $6.7 million in the year ending in June 2016. Canned non-sparkling wine sales are now double that of canned sparkling wine.

“A great part is coming from just increased availability from a handful of brands,” Danelle Kosmal, Nielsen North American’s vice president, beverage alcohol, told Business Insider.

“It’s more visible, and it gives wine drinkers, especially millennials, something new to try.”

When Whole Foods named canned wine as a trend to watch out for in 2016, the retailer name dropped up-and-coming wine brands, including Infinite Monkey Theorem (which launched canned non-sparkling wine in 2011) and Presto Sparkling wine.

Huge wine brands are also getting in on the trend. Barefoot Wine & Bubbly launched a canned wine spritzer in April, geared towards customers drinking outdoors and drinking during the day.

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