Nintendo is selling more consoles than the competition did last year, despite supply issues

It seems that Nintendo has finally cracked the code to get more of its consoles into American homes.

Nintendo’s Switch console has been the top-selling games console in the US for five of the past seven months since its March release, despite the fact that the console has been hard to find for many buyers, according to new data from Nintendo charted for us by Statista. It’s a stark contrast to the company’s previous console, the Wii U, which didn’t enjoy much success. 

That’s compared to other “current-generation console hardware” sold in the same months of 2016, according to Nintendo. Of course, both Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One were released in 2013, which could account for their slower sales compared to Nintendo’s Switch, but Microsoft released a smaller and sleeker Xbox One S in August and Sony is selling its 4K/HDR-capable PlayStation 4 Pro. Microsoft also plans to release an Xbox One X in November, which also supports 4K and HDR.

Nintendo has sold over 2 million Switch consoles to date in the US, and it has yet to go through the holiday season when sales are usually even greater for devices like games consoles. 

COTD_10.20 nintendo switch sales

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23 unexpected romantic gestures that your partner will love

young couple kissing

Sometimes all it takes is an unexpected act of romance to show someone how much you care.

Whether you’re doing it as a grand declaration of love or want to give them a simple surprise, a romantic gesture will bring a smile to your partner’s face. 

Here are 23 romantic gestures that your partner will appreciate.

SEE ALSO: 21 Valentine’s Day gifts women actually want

DON’T MISS: 21 creative ways to say ‘I love you’

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Do the dishes or a chore that your significant other hates doing.

Find out whatever it is that they hate doing the most and do it for them. Even if it’s just a one time thing, it’ll mean the world that you’ve listened and remembered. 

Pick up the phone and give them a call instead of texting them.

Have a long drive? Or a funny story about something that just happened to you? Pick up the phone and give your partner a ring.

In this day and age, they may be confused that you opted out of texting to actually talk, but they’ll find it romantic when you explain that you just wanted to hear their voice. 

Make a plan instead of debating where to eat or what movie to see.

Sometimes it’s nice not to think. Plan out a night that you know they’ll love and save yourselves the time and annoyance of picking out where to go. 

See the rest of the story at INSIDER

A chilling sentence from Bank of America’s tech chief should have a big chunk of Wall Street worried (BAC)

robots machines internet of things ioT

  • Wall Street banks are ramping up spending on technology and hiring more people with tech skills. 
  • Bank of America’s chief tech officer says that the technological shift is happening too fast for current traders to adapt. 


Technology is moving front and center on Wall Street, and it has many people worried about their jobs.

Wall Street is ramping up spending on technology and hiring more people with tech skills, especially in trading where profits have been harder to come by and banks are looking to cut costs.

According to data from Coalition, on average the top 12 investment banks decreased headcount in sales and trading near 6% in 2016. Meanwhile, tech spending increased 1% in front office systems, according to Bloomberg reporting. 

JPMorgan, specifically, is on track to spend $9.5 billion a year in technology. And 47% of Goldman Sachs’ recent job listings are in technology, according to CB Insights. 

So that means traditional Wall Streeters need to brush up on their tech skills, right? It turns out that it might not be so simple. There’s a good chance that even if a trader tries to adjust to this shifting landscape, by sharpening his or her tech skills or learning how to read code, they could still lose their jobs.

Bloomberg is running a series of stories on the tech revolution on Wall Street, and in a story by Sarah Ponczek and Dakin Campbell, Cathy Bessant, the chief technology and operations officer at Bank of America, said technology is changing too fast for traders to catch up. 

“Those of us in leadership roles know what’s coming, we’re helping to drive it and know what skill sets we need,” said Bessant.

What she said next to Bloomberg should worry anyone who isn’t already conversant on coding and tech. According to Bessant, teaching existing talent new tech skills is not worth it in most cases:

“The kind of skills that we’ll need have to be taught beginning at a much earlier age. Whether you can train the same worker at the same time you’re changing their job remains to be seen.”

Wall Streeters, consider yourselves warned.

Read the full report at Bloomberg >>

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The 11 worst biopic castings of all time

hefner leto

Shortly after Hugh Hefner’s death in September, The Hollywood Reporter announced that Jared Leto would be playing the media mogul in a biopic about his life.

“Jared is an old friend,” the biopic’s director Brett Ratner told THR. “When he heard I got the rights to Hef’s story, he told me, ‘I want to play him. I want to understand him.’ And I really believe Jared can do it. He’s one of the great actors of today.”

Immediately after news of Leto’s casting was announced it began to receive some criticism online.

Here are a couple reactions to Leto’s casting:




It’s easy to be skeptical of Leto’s casting when there have been so many lousy biopic castings in the past. Even renowned actors like Kevin Spacey and Naomi Watts have starred in colossal biopic flops. 

It’s too soon to evaluate whether or not Leto’s portrayal of Hefner will do the late playboy justice, but hopefully he won’t make the same mistakes as his biopic predecessors.

Here are the 11 worst biopic castings of all time, in no particular order:

Lindsay Lohan as Elizabeth Taylor

“Liz and Dick” was meant to tell the story of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton’s romance, but instead it amounted to no more than a cheaply crafted, made-for-TV-movie with subpar casting.

Lohan was unable to carry the role of Taylor, and instead played a less charming version of herself while wearing a series of unflattering acrylic wigs. 

Kevin Spacey as Bobby Darin

Spacey directed and starred in the Bobby Darin biopic “Beyond the Sea,” chronicling the short life of the famed crooner. 

But the film had one glaring issue: Spacey’s age. 

Darin was 37 when he died, and Spacey was 45 when he portrayed the singer…when he was 20.

It was confusing.

Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs

Kutcher’s portrayal of Steve Jobs in “Jobs” fell short of truly representing the tech mogul, and it’s incredibly hard to take the “Punk’d” creator seriously in the role — despite his spot-on resemblance to Jobs.

See the rest of the story at INSIDER

People say this $9 clay mask has completely cleared their acne — see their amazing before-and-after photos

clay facial

  • The Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay is gaining popularity as the “world’s most powerful facial.”
  • It comes in a powdered form that is meant to be mixed with water or apple cider vinegar.
  • The powder is made from 100% natural calcium bentonite clay, which is known for its healing properties.
  • Amazon users and YouTubers have been giving the product rave reviews and sharing impressive before-and-after photos.

Innovative face masks have become quite a popular trend in the beauty community. We’ve seen ones that are controlled by an iPhone, and even ones that might make you look like an 80-year-old in the process

However everyone’s latest mask obsession has been around for a while: the Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay.

aztec mask

The mask, which we first spotted on BuzzFeed, typically goes for under $10 on Amazon (it’s $9.49 at the time of this post) and makes some huge claims. The label calls it the “world’s most powerful facial” and promises that you’ll “feel your face pulsate” when you use it.


The clay comes in powdered form, which is meant to be mixed with water or apple cider vinegar until it becomes a spreadable consistency. After smoothing onto the skin, the label recommends letting it sit for five to 15 minutes depending on your skin’s sensitivity.

While the claims on the packaging may sound too good to be true, the mask is getting rave reviews from actual customers who claim it has helped clear their acne. Some have posted incredible before-and-after photos to show how the product has worked for them.

amazon healing clay mask

“This will forever be a staple for me. I went through a horrible breakout and decided to use this. In six days my skin was significantly clearer,” Amazon user DJ Freddie W., whose photos you can see above, said in her review.

amazon before and after clay

I’m 24 and this past January my face started breaking out with cystic acne,” the Amazon customer above said in her review. “I strongly recommend Aztec healing clay, it has done more wonders than I could’ve ever imagined.”

mask before and after

“The results were pretty immediate for the way my complexion smoothed out and my skin softened,” customer RosieFish wrote.

before after mask

“It always destroys every single pimple that emerges,” Heather E. wrote in her 5-star review.

before and after

I applied this mask on day 2 of my breakout and 12 hours later the acne spots are flat and redness is fading as well as decreased pain in those areas,” Larissa wrote on Amazon.

Some YouTubers are even claiming the mask cleared their acne-prone skin in as little as five days.

The mask’s secret appears to be its simplicity. The powder is made of 100% natural calcium bentonite clay, which is known for its healing and detoxifying properties. According to the popular online health specialist Dr. Axe, the clay creates an electrical charge when it comes into contact with liquid. This charge is then able to bind any toxins it comes into contact with.

The mask seems fairly powerful based on the reviews — so it’s best to test it on a small area of your face to see how your skin reacts to the “pulsating” effect first.

Check out even more photos and promising reviews over on Amazon.

SEE ALSO: A woman tried an electric face mask controlled by her iPhone that could be the future of skincare

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How the founder of Zillow and Hotwire led his startups through major crises, layoffs, and a down round to massive exits

BI Graphics_Success! How I did it_BannerSpencer Rascoff

  • Spencer Rascoff is the CEO of Zillow, a real-estate website and app. Before that, he helped create and lead the travel website Hotwire.
  • Zillow went public in 2011 and has grown tenfold since. Today, the company generates over $1 billion in annual revenue; it has made 16 acquisitions and has 3,500 employees.
  • Rascoff led both Hotwire and Zillow out of crises to success after making deep cuts and recommitting the companies’ original missions.

Spencer Rascoff knows a lot about running a company during a crisis.

He’s the CEO of Zillow, which he ran through the housing crash. That was after he ran Hotwire, which survived the dot com crash only to learn it sold plane tickets to the 9/11 hijackers.

“There’s the shadow of this weird connection to the actual tragedy itself, and then from a business standpoint, basically nobody traveled for like six months,” Rascoff said on Business Insider’s podcast, “Success! How I Did It.” “And so it was a very difficult time and we had significant layoffs.”

Through personal and professional tragedies, Rascoff and his companies bounced back. Zillow now has a market cap that exceeds $5 billion. On this episode, Rascoff tells how he did it. Plus, he tells what Uber’s new CEO is like (they worked together twice), and what it was like touring with rock bands as a kid.

You can listen to the podcast below:


Subscribe to “Success! How I Did It” on Apple Podcasts, RadioPublic, or your favorite app. Check out previous episodes with:

Following is a transcript of the podcast, which has been lightly edited for clarity and length.

Spencer Rascoff Zillow Alyson Shontell

Alyson Shontell: We’re really happy to have you today. Thanks so much, Spencer.

Spencer Rascoff: Thank you. I’m excited to be here.

Shontell: Can you take me back to growing up — what it was like for you? I understand you were an athlete and a chess whiz, and your dad had an awesome job.

Rascoff: I grew up here in Manhattan through fifth grade. My dad was an entrepreneur in the rock-and-roll industry, which I’ll tell you about, and my mom was a real-estate agent and then a schoolteacher. I had a terrific upbringing.

I was really academic, was a nationally ranked chess player and played really competitively. I was the fourth-best chess player in the country when I was a little kid and played every weekend really hardcore. Then we moved to LA, and my eyes were opened to this whole other world of possibilities where you could go swimming and play basketball and play sports, and so my whole worldview changed.

From an early age, I was inspired by my dad’s entrepreneurialism. My dad was a partner at an accounting firm, one of the Big Eight accounting firms, now is part of KPMG. And in 1972, when he was just a young partner there, this white-shoe, New York, early-’70s accounting firm told the manager of the Rolling Stones, Prince Rupert Loewenstein, to take a hike. “We’re not going to be the accountants for a bunch of rock-and-roll, drug-addicted crazy people.” And my dad thought that sounded pretty interesting actually.

And so he took a leave of absence from the accounting firm and became the tour accountant on the 1972 Rolling Stones tour. And this was a couple years before I was born. That started his career, which spanned decades in rock-and-roll and ultimately he was a tour producer, a business manager of the Rolling Stones, U2, David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Paul Simon, and many others.

Watching that experience and growing up in and around the rock-and-roll industry and watching him leave a pretty conservative industry of accounting for the music industry — and the innovation that he brought to that industry — was a big part of my upbringing.

Shontell: When you see someone take a big risk like that and then ultimately become successful at it, I have to imagine it makes you feel like you could tackle a lot as well.

Rascoff: Yes, for sure.

Shontell: From what I understand, you had a pretty awful family tragedy happen early. Did that shape your career?

Rascoff: Definitely.

When I was 15 and my brother was 17, he passed away in a car accident just a couple days before graduating from high school, and obviously it changed me dramatically. It made me grow up real fast. But it also kicked me into a different gear in terms of my quest for achievement.

Prior to that, I hadn’t experienced much grit in my life. I grew up pretty affluent — frankly — spending summers touring with rock bands in Europe and in Asia with my family. And then when you lose your brother at an early age, all of a sudden you’re sort of jolted into just a different world. Those last couple of years of high school, I kind of felt like I had to really overachieve, and I worked really hard and am still working really hard 25 years later.

Winding up on Wall Street

Wall Street bull

Shontell: You went off to Harvard, and then you did what a lot of Harvard people seem to do: You wound up on Wall Street.

Rascoff: Too many, in my opinion.

So I graduated from Harvard, class of ’97, and the internet was just a couple years old then and, of my graduating class of about 1,600, probably fewer than 10 people moved out West to work in tech. They went to companies like AltaVista and Excite and Yahoo and eBay, which were tiny little startups at the time. Honestly, if you ask them why they did it, I think most of them would say it’s because they couldn’t get jobs in consulting or investment banking at the time. Of course these people went on to incredible careers and massive riches from having been so early in technology.

But back then, the Ivy League was just this conveyor belt to Wall Street. And, in my opinion, unfortunately, not that much has changed actually, 20 years later. A huge amount of our intellectual capital just gravitates there, really not out of passion for those industries but just because they don’t know what else to do when they graduate from college. And I think that’s unfortunate. I did my two years and couldn’t wait to get out of there.

Shontell: When you were realizing that the Wall Street and finance world was not for you, you said your wife helped point things out before you even realized that you’re unhappy doing something.

Rascoff: Yeah, I call this a “career mirror.”

I think it’s incredibly important for everyone to have a career mirror. It can be a spouse, a friend, a parent, but it has to be somebody that’s far enough away from you that they’re not in the super day-to-day — like it can’t really be a coworker — but they have to be close enough to know you better than you know yourself.

Every career decision I’ve made has been because my wife told me to, because she’s held up a mirror to me. She said: “Look, you’re unhappy. You may not realize it, but you’re unhappy doing this thing.” And when I left Goldman Sachs to go to private equity, and I left private equity to do a startup, when I left that startup to do another startup, every one of those career changes was because she saw something before I did about how I was feeling.

Launching Hotwire

Spencer Rascoff Hotwire

Shontell: So talk to me about the move from private equity into your startup, Hotwire. It ended up being a huge success. Everyone remembers it. So tell me about how that got formed.

Rascoff: When I got to TPG, which is a huge private-equity firm, in 1999 after I left Goldman Sachs, the private-equity firms were sort of on their heels. But the smart thing that the private firms did was they looked at their existing portfolio companies and tried to figure out how to leverage the internet.

And so in the case of TPG, we had bought Continental Airlines out of bankruptcy, America West Airlines out of bankruptcy, Ryan Air, which is the largest airline in Europe, and we had sold much of the Continental stake to Northwest, so by the time I got there, in the late ’90s, we basically controlled four airlines.

And so Hotwire was born out of TPG, saying to these airlines and then a couple of other airlines: “Hey, let’s create an industry consortium startup to compete with Priceline.” I was basically staffed on that project, and I eventually left TPG to start the company. We had to call it something cool, and so we called it “Project Purple Demon” because that sounded really hip and this was San Francisco, 1999, you had to sound cool to attract employees, and Project Purple Demon would eventually become Hotwire.

And the little-known fact is that, at the same time, those airlines that we went to, to create the company, said: “Hey, this sounds great. We’re going to create an airline-industry-controlled and -owned consortium startup in the discount- travel space to compete with Priceline. Will you, TPG, also create one in the full-price category to compete with Travelocity and Expedia?”

And the project name for that was T-2, which stood for “Travelocity Terminator.” And we said: “No, we don’t really do this. We’re a private-equity firm already kind of out of our depth doing this one startup.”

And so the airlines hired Boston Consulting Group to create T-2, which would eventually become Orbitz. So these two companies, Orbitz and Hotwire, were started at about the same time by about the same airlines but had very different governance. In the case of Orbitz, the airlines controlled Orbitz, and in the case of Hotwire, the airlines all got non-voting stock, and so the management team had latitude on how to run Hotwire.

For example, Hotwire pivoted very quickly to the hotel side of the business, which is where most of the money is in the travel industry. But in the case of Orbitz, they stuck with airline tickets because the airlines wanted Orbitz to basically be a foil to Expedia and Travelocity. Fifteen-plus years later, you probably still think of airlines when you think of Orbitz and you probably think of hotels when you think of Hotwire. The airlines wanted it to be that way. Of course, now they’re all owned by Expedia Group, which is who we sold Hotwire to and, ironically, who Orbitz eventually sold to as well. So Expedia Group owns Orbitz, Travelocity, Expedia, Hotwire,, Trivago, and basically everything.

Leading through adversity

september 11, 2011, president bush

Shontell: So you started what eventually became Hotwire, in the late ’90s. Prime dot-com boom.

Rascoff: Bubble.

Shontell: And then in 2001, obviously 9/11 happened, and that rocked the entire industry, but you were in the travel industry and it really hit your business hard. So talk about that, because it also sounds like, from what I understand, you all discovered that you personally had a role, unintentionally, in that day.

Rascoff: You know, 9/11 really tested the company for a lot of reasons.

So first off, for me personally, I was in New York on September 10. I spoke at the Millennium Hilton at World Trade Center, which was, of course, crushed the next day. I was on the Newark-to-SFO flight on the 10th — or maybe I’m off by a day — but within a day or two on the same flight, same flight number, and so I was personally shaken up by my connection to it, and I actually lost a family friend on the plane that went down in Pennsylvania, and so that was obviously difficult. And then that morning we had tens of thousands of customers who were stranded around the world, who we had sold airline tickets and hotel rooms to. So we had this huge customer-service nightmare. And then to make matters worse, as you alluded to, Hotwire actually sold some of the tickets to the hijackers.

Shontell: How did you realize that? And what was it like when you put that together?

Rascoff: Not that it makes much difference, but it wasn’t the September 11 flights, it was the flights a couple of days earlier that put the team in place in Bangor, Maine, and then they flew from Bangor to Logan. I think the way we found out about it was the FBI told us, they came knocking, I think, probably that day or within a couple of days. And it cast this really awful shadow of culpability over the company. So as we were struggling with dislocated customers, employees who we weren’t sure of their location, and then there’s the shadow of this weird connection to the actual tragedy itself. And then from a business standpoint, basically nobody traveled for, like, six months.

And so it was a very difficult time, and we had significant layoffs. We did a down round, which wiped out a lot of the equity that the employees had in the company. To our credit, two years later we had turned the company around and pulled through all of that trauma and sold the company successfully to Expedia for about $700 million.

Shontell: In all cash.

Rascoff: In all cash, which at the time — this is so quaint, right? — in 2003, when we sold the company, that was the largest-ever all-cash sale of a tech company. You know, now $700 million is just like an Uber series E round.

Shontell: So coming back from that, it must have been hard because it rocked your business, and every tech business was rocked hard, and coming back to that kind of exit. I mean, how did you do that?

Rascoff: The team stuck together.

I mean, the first thing we did was we cut deep at the company, and I’ve done layoffs, unfortunately, twice in my career, once at Hotwire and then once at Zillow. I think it’s important to cut deep enough that you never have to have a second round of cuts, if possible, because the fear of, “Oh, am I going to be next?” It just paralyzes the organization, so we cut probably deeper than we had to, intentionally, to leave some cushion, and we recommitted the employee base to the mission and to each other.

You made me talk about my brother, but I guess it’s not that different than that, it’s like, “Now we have to sort of succeed so that those that are no longer here didn’t sacrifice what they sacrificed in vain.” And so we worked our butts off to make Hotwire successful. We did a lot of really smart tactical business-oriented things around the pivot to hotels, around innovations in the product.

At the time, Priceline was our main rival and the “name your price” thing Priceline’s innovation, and Hotwire’s innovation was that we showed you the price, and so you didn’t know what the hotel was until after you purchased, but we showed you what the price was and so it took some of the guessing out of it. And that was very innovative and it made for a very appealing value proposition to our suppliers, our airlines and hotels, but also to consumers.

And then we took a big bet on advertising. One of the benefits of the dot-com meltdown was TV advertising was pretty cheap because all those startups that were advertising in the late ’90s were gone. And so at Hotwire, we invested really early in TV. Today, of course, you turn on the TV and two seconds later you’ll see an ad for Trivago and Expedia and Tripadvisor, they’re everywhere. But in 2001 to 2003, the airwaves were pretty empty from travel advertising and that was a big bet that we made, and it paid off.

Shontell: So when you’re selling the company, it sounds like a huge, amazing exit. Was it was great for you guys as founders or was it not?

Rascoff: It was not. And this is a good lesson for founders: a down round basically wipes out most of the employee equity because employees typically have common and investors typically have preferred, so a $700 billion sale sounds really great but it’s mostly the venture capitalists that made the money, not the employees. You don’t have to feel sorry for anyone at Hotwire, they all did fine and they’re doing fine. But it wasn’t the type of exit that I think people expected.

Shontell: Right, it’s not like when you read, “Twenty-five year old sells his company for $700 million in all cash.”

Rascoff: Read the fine print, or it usually doesn’t get printed as fine print, but usually stories like that have a little layer of complexity to them.

Working with Dara Khosrowshahi

dara khosrowshahi

Shontell: So you go on and you become a VP at what is now Expedia.

Rascoff: Yeah, so the two years prior to the sale, from 2001 to ’03, those two difficult years after 9/11. I was actually commuting to Seattle because on September 10, 2001, my wife moved from San Francisco, which is where Hotwire was, to Seattle to go to med school at the University of Washington. Our first day apart was September 11, and I remember watching it on TV from San Francisco and on the phone with her in Seattle. So for those two difficult years, I was also commuting to my wife from San Francisco to Seattle. As soon as we sold the company to Expedia, which is based in Seattle, I moved, like, literally that week, and I worked at Expedia and I managed the hotel business for Expedia, Hotwire, and And I was there for about a year.

Shontell: And you worked with Dara, who is now the Uber CEO, right?

Rascoff: I worked with Dara, who I’d k

Bill Gates will invest more than $1 billion in public schools — but he’ll have to learn from Mark Zuckerberg’s mistake

bill gates mark zuckerberg friends

  • Bill Gates announced that he would invest more than $1.7 billion in public education.
  • Mark Zuckerberg invested $100 million into Newark Public Schools in 2010 and it was largely seen as a failure.
  • Gates wants schools and educators to drive the process.

Bill Gates will fund a massive investment in education, pledging more than $1.7 billion into public schools, The Washington Post reported.

Gates has long been a thought leader on improving school outcomes through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where he’s invested more than $3.4 billion in public education in the US, according to The Post.

But the eye-popping sum of his newest investment harks back to another tech titan’s massive investment in public schools — one that was largely deemed a failure.

zuckerbergIn 2010, Mark Zuckerberg donated $100 million to Newark, New Jersey’s failing public-school system with the intention of turning around the schools in five years.

The goals Zuckerberg set out to achieve — to enact a number of reforms that would make Newark a model city for education reform — were largely panned, and multiple sources tore into Newark Public Schools for squandering his money and not delivering on any of the goals it set out to achieve.

Critics also argued Zuckerberg’s strategy was top heavy, done quickly and without input from parents or local administrators, who could have provided guidance on how the changes would play out among the community.

After his so-called blunder in Newark, Zuckerberg appeared to employ a different strategy for affecting positive change in schools. In 2014, he committed $120 million to school districts around the San Francisco Bay Area, focusing on reform at the community level, rather than a heavy-handed, top-down approach, as the Newark reform plan has been described.

Gates will invest more than 10 times as much as Zuckerberg did in Newark. He appears cognizant of the need to engage school communities in the process, noting he wants schools and educators to drive the process, according to The Post.

bill gates“The actual tactics about great teaching, about how to reform the schedule, how to get students who are off track on track — those will be driven by the schools themselves,” Gates said before an audience in Cleveland, Ohio, according to The Post. ” We will let people come to us with the set of approaches they think will work for them in their local context.”

Gates, the richest man in the world, has been at the forefront of some of the biggest ideas in education, if sometimes equally unpopular. He invested heavily in the Common Core State Standards, the controversial set of nationwide education standards that almost all 50 states signed into law.

Following near-universal praise and adoption of the standards in 2010, there has since been equally swift backlash against the standards on both sides of the aisle.

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Bill Gates is doubling down on education with a $1.7 billion investment in public schools

bill gates melinda gates

  • Bill and Melinda Gates have pledged to commit $1.7 billion over the next five years to bolstering public education in the US.
  • The money will get divided into three buckets: public school curriculum, “big bets,” and charter schools.
  • The investment is the largest the Gateses have made since entering the education space 17 years ago.

Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates is investing $1.7 billion over the next five years to bolster public education in the United States.

In a speech delivered to the Council of the Great City Schools, the former CEO of Microsoft outlined his foundation’s plan to standardize public school curricula, improve teaching quality, assist charter schools, and and collect better data to guide future changes.

“Education is, without a doubt, one of the most challenging areas we invest in as a foundation,” Gates said in the speech, which was transcribed in a Gates Notes blog post. “But I’m excited about the shift in our work and the focus on partnering with networks of schools.”

Roughly 60% of the funding will go toward supporting “the development of new curricula and networks of schools that work together to identify local problems and solutions,” Gates said. A large chunk of those problems involve schools that are effectively segregated based on race.

Another 25% will go toward “big bets” — programs that could change public education over the next 10 to 15 years. (Gates did not point any specific innovations in his speech.)

The final 15% will address the sector of charter schools, which Gates believes are vital for helping kids with moderate to severe learning disabilities receive a high-quality education.

Gates, along with his wife Melinda, have been investing in education since 2000. The lessons they’ve learned in the 17 years since, Gates said, now compel them to evolve how they fund education around the US.

“Our role is to serve as a catalyst of good ideas,” he said, “driven by the same guiding principle we started with: all students — but especially low-income students and students of color — must have equal access to a great public education that prepares them for adulthood.”

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NOW WATCH: 6 things in tech today that Bill Gates accurately predicted back in 1999


Samsung is reportedly planning to open a huge store in London to compete with Apple and Microsoft (SSNLF)

Samsung Electronic's Galaxy S8 and S8+ are displayed at its store in Seoul, South Korea, April 27, 2017.  REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

  • Samsung is reportedly going to rent a huge space in King’s Cross to open a flagship store next year.
  • The mall in which the space resides was designed by famous British designer Thomas Heatherwick.
  • The architect is also working with Google to build their London-based European HQ in King’s Cross.

Samsung will open a massive new store in London’s King’s Cross area next year, according to Bloomberg.

Much like its 837 site in New York, the Korean firm will reportedly bill the store as a place to showcase its products as well as a number of technology-related experiences (like virtual reality tours, for instance).

The New York space is listed on the company’s website “not [as] a store, but a new kind of place filled with ideas, experiences and Samsung’s cutting edge devices.”

The place Samsung is apparently eyeing for is the top floor of King’s Cross’ Coal Drops Yard mall. The building was originally designed by famed British architect and designer Thomas Heatherwick.

Samsung Store London

Heatherwick is also working with another technology giant, Google, to expand its European operations with a new, King’s Cross-based headquarters, although the so-called “landscraper” will only start construction next year.

Like Samsung, Microsoft is looking to establish its product showcase by leasing a huge London space, too, this time right at the city’s heart — Oxford Circus — meters away from Apple’s recently redesigned flagship store.

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The director of ‘The Snowman’ explains why he made such a terrible movie

michael fassbender snowman

  • “The Snowman” is a very bad movie that makes no sense.
  • Critics have been panning the movie.
  • Director Tomas Alfredson said that he never got to finish shooting the screenplay.

The director of the much-derided Michael Fassbender thriller “The Snowman” said the movie is in poor shape because he didn’t get to finish making it.

“Our shoot time in Norway was way too short, we didn’t get the whole story with us and when we started cutting we discovered that a lot was missing,” director Tomas Alfredson said in an interview with the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation translated by IndieWire.

“The Snowman” is getting trashed by critics. It’s ostensibly a thriller about detective Harry Hole hunting down a serial killer who likes to dismember his victims and also make snowmen. It’s mostly incomprehensible.

Alfredson explained that “10 to 15%” of the movie’s screenplay wasn’t shot because he didn’t have enough time. He came to the movie relatively late, after Martin Scorsese had stepped out and worked as an executive producer instead.

“It happened very abruptly,” Alfredson said according to IndieWire. “Suddenly we got notice that we had the money and could start the shoot in London.”

tomas alfredson

Thelma Schoonmaker, Scorsese’s longtime collaborator and editor, stepped in to pull the footage together, but there remained huge gaps in the story.

“It’s like when you’re making a big jigsaw puzzle and a few pieces are missing so you don’t see the whole picture,” Alfredson said.

It’s a shame. The film has a bevy of talent behind it. Michael Fassbender stars as Hole, Alfredson directed the masterpiece “Let the Right One In,” and Rebecca Ferguson, J.K. Simmons, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Toby Jones, Val Kilmer, and Chloë Sevigny fill out the rest of the cast.

The movie has also been criticized for its inexplicable understanding of Norway, where it takes place. Alfredson says he wasn’t trying to make a documentary: “If not everything is geographically correct, I don’t give a shit.”

Fassbender’s new serial killer “thriller” “The Snowman” is in theaters now.

SEE ALSO: Michael Fassbender’s new movie ‘The Snowman’ is getting trashed by critics, and the reviews are hilarious

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