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Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Business News, Updates

Business News, Updates

Brad Pitt says he's followed by paparazzi because of his 'disaster of a personal life'

Posted: 07 Jan 2020 10:47 AM PST

brad pitt golden globes 2020Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Brad Pitt says he's constantly followed by paparazzi and thinks he knows the reason why. 

"I'm just trash mag fodder," Pitt said while participating in an interview with "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" costar Leonardo DiCaprio as part of actor and comedian Marc Maron's podcast, titled "WTF With Marc Maron." "I don't know. Because of my disaster of a personal life, probably, most likely."

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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The best cash-back credit cards from Citi, Chase, Wells Fargo, and more — with input from 4 top experts

Posted: 07 Jan 2020 10:43 AM PST

Best cash back credit cards 4x3 updatedAlyssa Powell/Business Insider

The best cash-back credit cards in 2020:

Travel rewards credit cards can be incredibly lucrative — you can use them to earn enough points to book a first-class flight or a luxury hotel stay. But not everyone wants to travel, and there are a lot of hoops to jump through if you want to maximize your rewards to get the best travel redemptions.

That's why there's a great case to be made for cash-back credit cards.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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35 vintage photos reveal what Los Angeles looked like before the US regulated pollution

Posted: 07 Jan 2020 10:41 AM PST

A motorcyclist in Los Angeles prepares to turn while driving along a street which is engulfed in a thick haze combined by fog and smog in 1958.Bettmann / Getty

  • Los Angeles has had air pollution problems since before smog was a term.
  • In 1943, people began to notice the smog when it covered Los Angeles so thickly that residents thought Japan had launched a chemical attack. The city continued to have smog problems for decades.
  • President Richard Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970, which introduced air pollution regulations, and it was a major factor in combating the city's smog problem.
  • Visit for more stories.

The city of stars could be called the city of smog.

Los Angeles has had years of thick air pollution due to a ballooning population, unregulated industry, a booming car industry, and its natural geography.

The Washington Post described it as "eye-burning, lung-stinging, headache-inducing smog."

In 1943, during World War II, pollution blanketed the city so intensely residents thought Japan had launched a chemical attack. Over the next three decades, improvements came, but they were slow.

The biggest victory against smog came in 1970. President Richard Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency, which led to air pollution regulations, and allowed California to make even stricter provisions within its state.

Here's what it used to be like.

Los Angeles has a history of smog. The problem is exacerbated by its natural geography — the sprawling city is shaped like a bowl, which traps fumes blown by Southern California's sea breeze, and causes them to linger over the city.

PhotoQuest / Getty

Sources: Smithsonian Magazine, Los Angeles Times

In July 1943, a particularly bad bout of smog caused red eyes and running noses. People thought the city was under a chemical attack from the Japanese. The Los Angeles Times called it a "black cloud of doom."

Los Angeles Examiner/USC Libraries/Corbis / Getty

Sources: Smithsonian Magazine, Los Angeles Times, Wired

During the 1940s people began to notice the smog, but many thought it was clouds. They weren't. According to the Los Angeles Times, "It was just the poor quality of the air that was a hazy, acrid, smelly, burning presence."

Los Angeles Examiner/USC Libraries/Corbis / Getty

Source: Los Angeles Times

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Amazon may have to pay close to $22 million after a judge ruled that there was 'no question' it had reneged on a deal to lease office space (AMZN)

Posted: 07 Jan 2020 10:40 AM PST

FILE PHOTO: Founder, Chairman, CEO and President of Amazon Jeff Bezos speaks during an event about Blue Origin's space exploration plans in Washington, U.S., May 9, 2019. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne/File Photo

  • Amazon may have to pay up to $21.7 million for reneging on an intent to lease a space in one of the realtor's Manhattan towers back in 2014. 
  • A New York Supreme Court Judge issued a summary judgement Monday, ruling that the ecommerce giant had breached the terms of an agreement to lease space in the Durst Organization's 1133 Sixth Avenue office. 
  • A court hearing is set for later this month to determine exactly how much Amazon will pay.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Amazon may be liable to up to $21.7 million for backing out of a deal with the Durst Organization to lease space in the realtor's Midtown, Manhattan, building, according to a summary judgement issued by the New York Supreme Court.

A judge ruled against Amazon in a five-year legal dispute on Monday, writing that there was "no question" that Amazon had breached the terms of the agreement with Durst, The New York Post first reported.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Here is a list of the top payment gateway provider companies in 2020 (PYPL, AMZN, WPG, VNTV)

Posted: 07 Jan 2020 10:39 AM PST

Payment gateways are the first step in the online payment process, and they have been crucial in helping e-commerce companies more easily accept online transactions. 

Select Payments Gateway ProvidersBusiness Insider Intelligence

These gateways serve as the online version of a payment terminal and front-end processor for online and mobile sellers. They often sell bundled services that include payment acceptance, data reporting, and fraud management.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Joaquin Phoenix will wear the same tuxedo for every awards show this year to 'reduce waste'

Posted: 07 Jan 2020 10:36 AM PST

Joaquin Phoenix golden globesJEAN-BAPTISTE LACROIX/AFP via Getty Images

From the plant-based dinner to numerous speeches that mentioned the Australian bushfires, climate change was a major topic at the Golden Globes

Following Sunday night's show, it has been revealed that Joaquin Phoenix is planning to wear the same tuxedo throughout this year's awards season in an attempt to reduce waste. 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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My husband I don't have kids, but writing a will means our money — and our dogs — go to those we love most

Posted: 07 Jan 2020 10:35 AM PST

couple walking dogs

When you're young, the idea of creating a will sounds silly. When you're young and don't have children, it seems even more pointless. If you're not leaving behind dependents, what's the purpose of spelling out where all your stuff should go?

But a will isn't just for elderly tycoons with big families and even bigger fortunes. A will is the document that allows the people you leave behind — from immediate family to friends and business partners — to mourn your passing without legal complications and petty squabbling. It also allows you to direct your assets to the people and organizations you care about the most.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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If you have a Chase Sapphire card, you can get a year of waived food-delivery fees with DoorDash

Posted: 07 Jan 2020 10:34 AM PST

finance money bank banking banking credit card credit score investment payment chase sapphire preffered food dining restaurant cox 1Crystal Cox/Business Insider

  • If you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you can get waived delivery fees and lower service fees on DoorDash food orders thanks to a year of complimentary DashPass membership.
  • This should save you about $5 per order — and you don't have to pay the monthly fee of $9.99 for DoorDash for the first year. Plus, both Sapphire cards offer bonus points on dining purchases
  • If you have the Chase Freedom or Chase Freedom Unlimited, you'll get three months of DashPass membership for free, then a 50% discount for the rest of your first year.
  • Activate your offer via the DoorDash website or app.
  • See Business Insider's list of the best rewards credit cards »

Chase just launched an interesting new promotion in partnership with DoorDash, offering discounts on the company's DashPass unlimited delivery program.

For $9.99 per month, DashPass customers receive lower service fees and free delivery on all orders of more than $12. According to the company, members save an average of between $4 and $5 per order. The fee is normally waived for all customers for the first month, but now select Chase cardholders will get a significant discount for the first membership year. Some Chase cardholders get it for free.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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American families are paying a hidden $8,000 'poll tax' to cover their healthcare costs, 2 economists argue

Posted: 07 Jan 2020 10:31 AM PST

DoctorsREUTERS/Joe Skipper

  • Families are paying a $8,000 "poll tax" to cover the skyrocketing cost of healthcare in the United States, two top economists from Princeton University argue.
  • American healthcare is the world's most expensive and its cost far surpasses those of other developed nations.
  • The US spends $1 trillion more than Switzerland, the second-most expensive system. It rounds out to an additional $8,000 a year that American households pay compared to Swiss ones.
  • The economists — Anne Case and Angus Deaton — called it a "poll tax," meaning Americans must pay the amount regardless of their ability to do so.
  • Any attempt at reform faces an uphill battle in Congress where powerful interests within the healthcare industry have fought efforts to amend the system.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Families are paying a $8,000 "poll tax" to cover the skyrocketing cost of healthcare in the United States, two top economists argue.

Princeton University economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton said at an economic conference in San Diego that most American families are being left behind as a slice of the population grows richer, the Washington Post reported.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Elizabeth Wurtzel, author of 'Prozac Nation,' has died at 52

Posted: 07 Jan 2020 10:30 AM PST

Elizabeth WurtzelCatherine McGann/Contributor/Getty Images

  • Elizabeth Wurtzel, author of groundbreaking memoirs on addiction and mental health, has died of breast cancer complications. She was 52 years old.
  • Her first book "Prozac Nation" was published in 1994 and detailed her personal struggle with depression and the titular medication. It became a New York Times best-seller.
  • Wurtzel's work was controversial, but helped revolutionize the memoir genre and make room for non-celebrities to share personal stories and raise awareness of mental health issues. 
  • Celebrities and fans are mourning her loss, and honoring the impact she made on society and their personal lives.  
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more.  

Author of the groundbreaking memoir "Prozac Nation" Elizabeth Wurtzel died Thursday at age 52 of complications related to breast cancer.

Her work was a catalyst for inspiring new generations of memoirists, particularly those writing about mental health and addiction, according to the Washington Post.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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The best shaving brushes

Posted: 07 Jan 2020 10:25 AM PST

  • Shaving brushes make it easy to work up a good lather for shaving, especially if you're using a hard puck of shaving soap.
  • The Edwin Jagger pure badger brush is our top recommendation for any man who's looking to add a bit of luxury to his wet shaving routine.
  • If you're looking for the best shaving soap or the best safety razor to complete your shaving kit, check out our guides.

More and more men are discovering the simple joy of traditional wet shaving, and if you're reading this, you're probably one of them. You may have already completed the first part of your wet shave journey — selecting a good blade — but after you've already upgraded your routine with a double-edged safety razor, your next step is to hunt down a high-quality shave brush.

A good brush is an essential part of your shaving ritual. When used with a good soap or cream (one that, unlike canned foam, is made for wet shaving), a nice bristle brush is the key to getting a rich, creamy lather that lubricates your face well for a smoother shave. Your brush is used both to generate a proper lather and to apply it to your skin, and the bristles of the brush, arranged into what's called a "knot," also help to soften and stand your whiskers up before your razor does its thing.

Ideally, bristles should be soft enough at the ends to not feel scratchy or prickly on the skin, yet feature good rigidity or "backbone" so that they're not too floppy to work up a lather. The purpose of a brush is also to transfer heat and water to your face, and the different kinds of bristles each have distinct properties that help or hinder this. Shaving brushes are thus categorized by their bristles, which come in four main types:

  • Badger: Badger hair is the generally the softest bristle material used in shaving brushes and is further broken down into four grades (in ascending order of quality): pure, best, super, and silvertip. "Pure" badger bristles come from the belly, "best" bristles are the finer and softer hairs from other parts of the badger's body, and "super" bristles are softer still. "Silvertip" bristles are the rarest badger hairs that are naturally white at the ends, are extremely soft, and have excellent water retention and lathering capabilities.
  • Boar: Boar is less favored by wet shavers, at least in the United States and England, but nonetheless remains the second-most popular brush material in use today. Boar brushes aren't graded by bristle quality like badger hair and are considerably less expensive. Boar bristles are also noticeably stiffer than badger hair — something favored by many shavers and ideal for hard soaps — but boar is unique in that the bristles split at the ends over time to result in a soft brush once properly broken-in.
  • Horsehair: Horsehair is the least common animal material used in brush knots and is somewhere in between boar and badger bristles when it comes to softness and pliability. Horsehair brushes are very popular in Spain, and high-quality examples typically hail from that country. Horsehair is a great "Goldilocks" option on the rigidity spectrum for shavers who find boar bristles too stiff and badger too soft.
  • Synthetic: Shaving brushes made with synthetic bristles are growing in popularity and have gotten much better in recent years, with modern examples boasting impressive softness and flexibility (although never as good as animal fibers when it comes to water retention). Synthetic bristles are the best option for anyone looking for an animal-free brush as well as those who are allergic to animal hair.

Although the bristles are by far the most important component of a shaving brush, there are other quality considerations. Good handle construction and a solid handle-to-knot connection are important for comfort and longevity. Poor construction here may result in the handle separating from the knot due to the moisture eroding the glue that's holding the bristles. A poor-quality knot will also shed bristles excessively. However, almost all animal hair brushes, especially badger, exhibit minor shedding at first which is normal.

All of our recommendations are, of course, well-made with high-quality bristles and nicely-designed handles. With all brushes, no matter the materials used, you still want to invest in a good drip stand that orients the bristles upside-down after use so moisture evaporates properly and doesn't soak down into the base of the knot. Spending a little extra to ensure you get a quality brush and a solid drip stand will greatly extend the life of your bristles for years of regular use.

Here are the best shaving brushes:

Updated on 1/7/2020 by Jen Gushue: Updated links, prices, and formatting. 

The best badger bristle shaving brush

Edwin Jagger

Edwin Jagger's mid-sized shaving brush has an excellent build, a timeless design, and soft badger bristles that produce a rich lather and feel great on your skin.

Badger bristle brushes remain the favorite choice among wet shavers, so it's only fitting that our top pick should fall into this category. It's easy to see why the fur of these little animals is so popular. Prized for its softness and water absorption, badger hair seems purpose-built for shaving brushes owing to its great feel and ability to quickly work soaps and creams into a velvety lather without a lot of effort.

Not all badger hair is created equal, however. Like the term "genuine leather," "pure badger bristle" means very little, denoting only the lowest grade of the animal's fur. If you're going to go cheap, go with a boar or maybe a horsehair brush. If you want the softness of badger bristles and don't want to pay out the nose for super or silvertip, then stick with "best badger." This grade of bristles hits the sweet spot between quality and price, and our pick from English company Edwin Jagger exemplifies this perfectly.

The Edwin Jagger best badger shaving brush has a medium-sized handle and loft (referring to the height of the knot) and its bristles cleave towards the middle range of softness and rigidity. This results in a brush that lathers extremely well with creams and softer solid soaps, but it's perfectly suitable for harder soap pucks as well without requiring too much extra wrist work. Badger brushes like this one are also the best choice for shavers who like to make a lather directly on their face rather than in a mug or bowl.

Nothing's perfect, and the Edwin Jagger best badger brush does have a few minor quirks. First, the bristles shed a bit at first, but this is normal and temporary. Second, as an animal product, the brush has an aroma to it when you use it the first handful of times. Think of a "wet dog" sort of smell. This eventually fades and is not quite as pungent as that of a boar brush (something I can personally attest to).

But those quibbles notwithstanding, the Edwin Jagger best badger brush is an excellent choice for any wet shaver looking to upgrade his routine. It's made in Sheffield, England, just like Jagger razors, and includes a must-have drip stand. This makes the price tag very attractive (a brush stand usually sets you back around 10 bucks by itself) given the quality of the brush's bristles, its excellent construction, and its "just right" mid-range size and softness.

Pros: Best badger bristles hit the sweet spot between rigidity and softness, made in England, great water retention, the mid-sized loft and handle are ideal for most users, and it includes a stand to properly dry and extend the life of your brush

Cons: Badger bristles shed more at first than other animal fibers

The best boar bristle shaving brush


Italian design, quality materials, and an unbeatable price make the Omega Professional boar brush the best choice for budget-conscious buyers.

Although badger hair is typically the most highly regarded material for shave brushes, boar bristles can still claim the silver medal and have some distinct advantages. In fact, boar bristle brushes are still heavily favored by many men in Italy, a country where old-school barber-style wet shaving never really went out of style. The stiff bristles are great for solid soaps and are especially ideal for whipping up a rich lather in a mug or shaving bowl.

If you've already dipped your feet in the world of wet shaving, then you may have noticed a couple of Italian brands that stand out. Proraso is one such Italian company that makes a wide lineup of highly-regarded shaving soaps, creams, balms, and aftershaves (I personally use and recommend Proraso's menthol shaving soap and cream), but the biggest Italian shave brush manufacturer is Omega.

The company today offers boar, badger, and even synthetic shaving brushes, but being the most popular choice among Italian wet shavers, boar bristles remain Omega's bread and butter.

I've been using the Omega Professional boar bristle brush myself for a couple years now, having replaced my old badger brush. I opted for boar as I like the ability of the rigid bristles to build a great lather with solid soaps which I typically favor. The low price point didn't hurt, either.

I especially love the way the boar bristles have broken-in over time while remaining rigid. This didn't take long. After just a few shaves, I was already noticing the bristles splitting at the ends. My well-used brush is now surprisingly plush at the tips without becoming a fluffed-out mess that's too delicate to use with hard soaps. It's a big brush, too, at over five inches tall, so it feels great in the hand and the knot holds a lot of lather.

One final note regarding boar brushes: Wild hogs tend to cultivate a certain musk. I'm sure pigs find it alluring, but humans do not. I never found the Omega Professional brush to be offensive, but a mild aroma was noticeable for a while before eventually dissipating altogether. Now, my brush just smells like my soap.

If you find the initial odor bothersome, however, then wash the brush out with shampoo a few times or lather it up with shaving soap and let it sit overnight before washing it out.

Pros: Rigid bristles break in nicely with regular use, great for hard soaps and for making a lather in a bowl or mug, sheds less than a badger bristle brush, made in Italy, a large and comfortable handle, and it's an unbeatable value

Cons: Not all shavers will prefer the stiffer boar bristles, and the brush can initially give off an unpleasant odor

The best horsehair bristle shaving brush


Hailing from Spain, the Vie-Long 12705 horsehair shaving brush is a fantastic and 100% humane "middle option" for those seeking something in between badger and boar bristles.

Horsehair is something of a niche choice in the world of shaving brushes yet retains a vocal crowd of dedicated fans. You'll find quite a lot of them in Spain, in fact, where horsehair brushes are still favored and manufactured today. Horsehair represents a nice middle ground between boar and badger bristles, featuring some added rigidity over badger while being a bit softer and easier to break in than boar.

Given the suitability of horsehair for shaving brushes, you almost wonder why it isn't more prevalent. It also offers one big advantage over other animal materials in that it's entirely humane: Boar and badger bristle generally come from dead animals, while horsehair is taken from the tails and manes of living horses. This makes horsehair a prime option for buyers who may have ethical concerns regarding boar and badger bristles but don't want to use a synthetic brush.

The top maker of horsehair brushes today is Vie-Long, based in — you guessed it — Spain. The unique color of the horsehair and the different handle materials of Vie-Long products create a distinct style that sets these brushes well apart from those of pretty much all other brands. Vie-Long manufactures its excellent shaving brushes in Valencia, and the striking 12705 is a prime example of Spanish flair with its mid-brown bristles and rust-colored acrylic grip.

Horsehair is known for its durability and springiness, featuring impressive backbone relative to badger bristles while feeling noticeably softer on the ends than boar brushes. This blend of rigidity and flexibility makes the Vie-Long 12705 a great alternative to other natural brush materials if you want something more pliable than boar bristles yet more suitable for hard soaps and mug-lathering than a plushier badger brush.

Being cheaper than most high-quality badger brushes, the Vie-Long 12705 hits another sweet spot – price. Note that the handle on the Vie-Long 12705 is a bit small, but this won't be a problem for most users as its squarish shape helps considerably with grip.

Expect an initial odor and shedding period with horsehair, roughly on par with those of a good badger brush, both of which should cease to be a problem after a handful of shaves.

Pros: The horsehair inhabits a nice middle ground between boar and badger bristles, it's crafted in Spain of quality materials, the hair comes from living animals, a very attractive bristle and handle color, and it's cheaper than most badger brushes

Cons: The handle is somewhat small

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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SEE ALSO: The best shaving cream for men

The 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' visual effects team explain Rey's new lightsaber and the small detail you may have missed in it

Posted: 07 Jan 2020 10:18 AM PST

rey star wars the rise of skywalkerLucasfilm

  • Warning: There are major spoilers ahead for "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker."
  • At the end of "The Rise of Skywalker," Rey shows off a new lightsaber with a yellow-orange hue.
  • Insider spoke with four members of the "TROS" visual effects team — Roger Guyett, Neal Scanlan, Patrick Tubach, and Dominic Tuohy — on the Walt Disney Studios lot Monday to learn about the origins of Rey's new lightsaber, which contains a yellow kyber crystal.
  • Tests were ran to help decide the color of the blade. They ultimately landed on a yellow hue, representative of optimism.
  • Eagle-eyed fans may have noticed the hilt of the saber comes from Rey's staff.
  • "J.J. [Abrams] just thought it was logical that she had the staff, and, therefore, the saber should somehow be linked to that," said visual effects supervisor Roger Guyett.

One of the biggest reveals in "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker," other than Rey's identity, came at its very end when the character revealed she had her own new lightsaber with a distinctive yellow-orange hue.

What color exactly is the lightsaber and how did the visual effects team land on it? 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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How to delete Calendar events on your iPhone in 4 simple steps

Posted: 07 Jan 2020 10:15 AM PST

icloud iphone calendarJesse33 /

The iPhone's Calendar app has been a staple of the smartphone since its inception. The device's mobile calendar has made daily life management  much more convenient as the pre-installed app reminds you of events, birthdays, and holidays that you could otherwise easily forget. 

One of the great features about the iPhone's calendar is that you can add recurring events — you don't have to go in and manually block out each birthday or anniversary every single year, you just put it in once, set it to recur annually, and set a reminder if you're worried you'll forget. 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

NOW WATCH: Apple just revealed its AirPods Pro for $249, which feature noise cancellation. Here's everything that was wrong with the $159 pair of the wireless headphones.

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How to change the size of your desktop icons on a Windows 10 computer

Posted: 07 Jan 2020 10:07 AM PST

Microsoft Surface 3 laptopHollis Johnson/Business Insider

With a Windows 10 computer, there are a ton of ways you can personalize your computer to make it your own. 

From changing the background on your desktop or the appearance of your cursor to your default browser, there are more than a few ways to personalize your Windows 10 computer. 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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The best dog harnesses, according to professional dog trainers

Posted: 07 Jan 2020 10:07 AM PST

  • The best dog harnesses are ones that make walks and other adventures with your dog easy while keeping them comfortable, secure, and pain-free. 
  • As a professional dog trainer who has tested harnesses on hundreds of dogs, I've found different harnesses work best for dogs of different sizes, needs, and abilities.
  • For leash pulling, for example, a no-pull harness with a front clip is likely your best bet, whereas small dogs often benefit from a vest-style harness.
  • Our pick for the best dog harness overall is the PetSafe 3-in-1 Harness. It's a versatile, affordable harness that fits well without restricting movement.

Of all the commitments you made to your dog when you agreed to be their guardian, daily walks are among the most important. Walks aren't just essential to your dog's physical and mental health; for most, it's the only opportunity they have to explore their world.

For us humans, though, walks can be among the more complicated tasks our dogs require of us. Just figuring out what equipment to use is a challenge. Harnesses, as opposed to collars, are the best option for walking a dog safely and comfortably. Walking a dog on even the softest collar can cause choking and poses even greater risks.

"As a general rule, I don't like anything that puts too much pressure on the neck," Dr. Carlo Siracusa, DVM, associate professor of clinical animal behavior and welfare at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, told Insider Picks. "Pressure to the neck can cause problems to the trachea and to the bone structure of the neck, itself." Studies even suggest that too much pressure on the neck can cause eye problems, including glaucoma.

Selecting which harness to use isn't simple, though. A style that works well on a 4-pound apple-headed Chihuahua may be a terrible fit for a long-legged, barrel-chested Great Dane. Nor does finding the right harness depend solely on fit. The best harness for your dog is the one that makes walks and other adventures easy while keeping them comfortable, secure, and pain-free. Dogs that pull on leash, for example, need something different than older or injured dogs with limited mobility. 

Dog harnesses generally fall into three major categories:

  • Front clip: Harnesses that clip to a leash at the front of the chest are anti-pull. They slow your dog down by putting your control ahead of them instead of at their back. 
  • Back clip: Harnesses that clip to a leash at the back are for dogs that don't pull, no matter whether they're super-active or couch potato. 
  • Front and back clip: These harnesses have both options, providing versatility for dogs and people whose needs change over time.

As a certified professional dog trainer, I have 10 years of experience testing harnesses on hundreds of dogs of all types — from tiny floofs to big bruisers, from the most reserved to the overly friendly.

After consulting with other dog professionals, including Erika Slovikoski, a certified professional dog trainer with more than a decade of experience, and Michelle Sanchez, a pet care provider, rescue maven, and member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, I've narrowed down a crowded field of more than two dozen options to find the six best harnesses for dogs of different sizes, needs, and abilities.

Here are the best dog harnesses you can buy:

Updated 1/07/2020 by Shoshi Parks: Updated categories, products, and text.

The best dog harness overall


The affordable PetSafe 3 in 1 Harness fits dogs of all sizes well, and with two places to clip the leash, it functions as both a traditional and no-pull dog harness.

For the cost, the PetSafe 3 in 1 is the most versatile harness out there, working well for both dogs that pull on leash and those that are confident loose-leash walkers. The additional strap on the back is made for car rides — most seatbelts will fit snugly through the loop, keeping your dog safely restrained.

In my decade as a professional dog trainer, I haven't found a dog or human yet that the PetSafe 3 in 1 doesn't have some positive function for. Dogs that pull on leash benefit from the V-strap design that doesn't restrict the movement of the front legs when the leash is clipped to the D-ring at the chest. When the leash is attached to the D-ring on the back, the harness is great for walking or jogging with dogs that do not pull on leash. It's also the ideal place to connect a long-line for safely teaching a dog recall. This harness serves those who prefer double-ended leashes as well.

Even if the only thing you ever use this harness for is car rides, it doesn't require any additional equipment to ensure your dog's safety as you drive (although it's worth noting that these harnesses have not been crash-tested and traveling with your dog in a secured crate is always the safest option). With your dog in the backseat, just slip a seat belt through the strap on the back of the harness and buckle it.

Although the PetSafe only comes in four sizes (extra-small to large), it has five points of adjustment around the neck and chest. The martingale at the front D-ring also tightens slightly to keep the harness snug when walking a puller. Three buckles on the harness — one on the neck strap and two on the chest strap — mean you never have to slip a loop over your dog's head or lift their feet to put it on, a welcome feature for those with shy or handling-sensitive pups. All those buckles, though, can also make the harness somewhat confusing. I've caught myself putting it on upside-down more than once.

While it may not be as comfortable as a vest-style harness, the straps of the harness are lined with a light neoprene padding for extra comfort, and the whole thing is stitched together with reflective thread for better visibility at night.

The PetSafe 3 in 1 Harness is only available in three colors — black, teal, and plum — but for the price, this versatile harness is a steal.

Pros: Affordable, easy to fit, works for dogs of all sizes, good for dogs that pull, good for dogs that walk well on leash, allows freedom of movement, accommodates double-ended leash, reflective stitching for use after dark

Cons: Only four sizes and three colors, can be confusing to put on correctly

The best harness for small dogs


The soft, flexible, and easy-to-fit Puppia RiteFit Harness is an ultra-affordable option for small dogs.

For small dogs that don't pull on leash, I like to use a soft vest-style harness. Puppia harnesses have been a comfortable, affordable option for years, and now the company has improved on its original design with the RiteFit, a more adjustable model that makes it easier to get an appropriate fit.

Puppia's RiteFit is made from cushiony polyester covered in tiny pinholes for breathability. It's a handsome harness that comes in nine different colors, and while it's only offered in four sizes, it has three points of adjustment, two around the neck and one around the chest. The leash clips two metal D-rings together at the back for added peace of mind. The whole thing washes easily in the laundry if your dog, like many I know, thinks rolling in stinky stuff is the best thing in the world.

Although I've never seen it happen, students in my dog training classes have occasionally reported their dog slipping out of a Puppia RiteFit Harness. Whether these outliers can be chalked up to human error or design failure is hard to say. Either way, it suggests that the harness isn't 100% secure. If you have a dog that tends to dart on leash or is a known escape artist, you would do better with the more secure Gooby Escape Free Sport Harness, included in the list of other harnesses we considered.

For most small dogs, though, the Puppia RiteFit Harness is a secure, comfortable, budget-friendly solution for walks.

Pros: Soft, breathable, flexible, affordable, easy to adjust for size, easy to clean, comes in nine colors

Cons: Only four sizes, dogs may be able to wiggle out of the harness

The best harness for large dogs


The high-quality padded Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Dog Harness has both front and back leash clips for effortless walks with large dogs of all breeds.

My biggest concern when it comes to choosing a harness for a large breed dog is whether I can trust its strength and durability. Lightweight harnesses that work well for 10-pound dogs could prove dangerous when an 80-pounder gets to pulling. The last thing I want to worry about on a walk is whether my harness will withstand the journey.

Kurgo approaches this problem right, constructing their Tru-Fit Smart Dog Harness with ripstop fabric, heavy-duty stitching, and strong D-rings at the chest and back for connecting the leash. It even comes with a lifetime warranty.

This vest-style harness has a padded chest plate that can be fit snugly using four points of adjustment, two at the neck and two at the chest. Kurgo also added a loop at the spine for connecting a seatbelt. The harness even comes with its own 10-inch strap with a carabiner at one end and a loop to slip over a backseat belt on the other.

The Kurgo Tru-Fit is easy to put on and requires only slipping the front loop over the head then clipping either side of the chest loop to the strap along the spine. No leg-lifting needed (though pulling material over the head may be frightening for shy or handling-sensitive dogs). It's offered in five sizes and four basic colors. Unfortunately, neither reflective patterns nor stitching is included.

Although the Kurgo Tru-Fit Harness has the front leash clip, this isn't my first choice as an anti-pull harness, as the vest is prone to shifting and riding up on some dogs. If you're looking for an anti-pull harness for a large breed, stick with the Blue-9 Balance Harness or the PetSafe 3-in-1 recommended in our best no-pull harness and best overall harness categories. But if your dog already walks on a loose leash and you'll be using the back D-ring, the Kurgo Tru-Fit is a comfortable, reliable harness for everyday walks with big dogs.

Pros: High-quality materials, four points of adjustability, two places to connect the leash, comes with a seatbelt for car travel, padded, five sizes, fits dogs up to 110 pounds

Cons: Only four colors, no reflective accents, vest may ride up when leashing to front D-ring

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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I tried the Red Lobster Bloody Mary that's topped with a lobster claw, shrimp, and a cheddar biscuit, and it was unlike any cocktail I've ever tasted

Posted: 07 Jan 2020 10:03 AM PST

red lobster taste test bloody mary thumbDarcy Schild/Insider

  • Red Lobster is selling a Bloody Mary drink topped with a lobster claw, its famous cheddar bay biscuit, a jumbo shrimp, a lime, and an olive. 
  • The drink is available at Red Lobster locations until February 2.
  • I tried the monstrous cocktail for myself at New York City's Red Lobster location in Times Square — which also happened to be my first time visiting the seafood chain.
  • My favorite parts of the drink were the tomato juice and vodka mixture, plus the spicy, smoky seasoning that rimmed the glass; but some of the food components left me confused.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Nothing divides a table of brunch-goers like the Bloody Mary.

Personally, I happen to enjoy the tomato juice and vodka drink, especially when it's chock-full of olives or gherkins — those cute, miniature pickles; and a crisp piece of celery.

Until yesterday, I hadn't sipped on a Bloody Mary filled with anything beyond the basic toppings. At the turn of the year, American seafood chain Red Lobster announced the release of its limited-edition Bloody Mary drink, which comes garnished with an actual lobster claw, a cheddar biscuit, and shrimp.

Being one of the few Bloody Mary-enthusiasts of my Insider Lifestyle colleagues, I took one for the team and tried the drink for myself. Here's what it was like to taste this monstrous, seafood-clad drink.

I took the subway from the Insider Inc. office in Manhattan's Financial District to Times Square, which is one of two Red Lobsters in New York City.

Darcy Schild/Insider

I felt like a true tourist as I dodged taxis and walked into Red Lobster, the American chain restaurant known for endless shrimp and its cheesy biscuits.

The second Red Lobster location in Manhattan is in Harlem.

When I walked in, I was greeted by a friendly host and a plethora of Red Lobster merchandise.

Darcy Schild/Insider

This was my first time at Red Lobster, and one glance at the seafood-themed apparel was a visual reminder that the chain restaurant has many dedicated fans.

It was almost 4 p.m. on a Monday, and many of the booths and tables were filled with people dining in the restaurant, including a few sitting at the bar.

Darcy Schild/Insider

I took a seat at a booth and mentally prepared myself for the seafood-filled drink I was about to order.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Read the pitch deck that buzzy startup Devoted Health used to reach a $1.8 billion valuation before it signed up a single customer

Posted: 07 Jan 2020 10:01 AM PST

Devoted Health wants to change the way the U.S. takes care of its senior citizens, and it has big plans in its first five years to do just that.

Todd ParkAlex Wong/Getty Images

The startup, which has been gathering lots of buzz in the last year, was founded to sell private health insurance plans to U.S. seniors, a market that is growing rapidly as Baby Boomers age.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Google just revealed that half a billion people around the world are using the Google Assistant as it battles with Amazon to conquer the smart home (GOOG, GOOGL)

Posted: 07 Jan 2020 10:00 AM PST

Google Pixel assistantHollis Johnson/Business Insider

  • Google just announced that 500 million people around the world are using the Google Assistant, its voice-activated digital assistant.
  • The milestone was announced just ahead of CES, the annual tech conference in Las Vegas where Amazon's Alexa has had a growing presence in recent years.
  • Google hasn't previously said how many people are using the Google Assistant each month, although it had said a year ago that it was available on 1 billion devices.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. 

Google says that every month, 500 million people around the world are using the Google Assistant — its voice-activated digital helper that can now be found in everything from smartphones to home speakers.

The announcement came just ahead of the Consumer Electroncis Show, one of the biggest tech conferences of the year, where Amazon's Alexa voice-activated assistant has enjoyed a growing presence in recent years.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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The 20 best hotels in New York City

Posted: 07 Jan 2020 09:59 AM PST

IP Best Hotels New York City 4X3Alyssa Powell/Business Insider

  • There are hundreds of hotels in New York City from Manhattan to Brooklyn and other boroughs in between, ranging from sparse, budget-friendly accommodations to ultra-indulgent suites.
  • To help narrow the field and highlight the best affordable, high-end hotels in New York in 2020, the Insider Picks travel team hit the New York City streets to stay at, tour, and research the city's top-rated hotels to determine which are worth your hard-earned money and time off.
  • We also scoured reviews and guest feedback, to highlight what makes each place great, where some have room for improvement, and insider tips on special requests you should make to ensure the best stay possible. Pricing reflects many budgets, from micro rooms from $107 to five-star suites for $500.
  • Read all Insider Picks hotel reviews here.

As a longtime New Yorker, when friends and family come to visit, I'm often asked, "where should I stay?"

It's a loaded question. The city is filled with so many great hotels throughout many neighborhoods and boroughs, from old-school luxury in Manhattan to contemporary boutiques in Brooklyn dripping in neighborhood charm. The big brand names all have flagships, and cheap (and some not-so-cheap) micro hotels are rapidly popping up in a bid to make bunk beds chic. 

Much like the city itself, there's something for everyone based on what you like and how much you're willing to spend. 

To help narrow the field and highlight the best New York hotels to book in 2020, the Insider Picks travel team hit the New York streets to stay at, tour, and research the city's top-rated hotels to determine which are not only worth your hard-earned money, but sacred PTO.

Every hotel was personally reviewed, vetted, and selected based on the following criteria: 

  • Hotels located in New York City, with a primary focus on Manhattan and Brooklyn.
  • Considered a four- or five-star hotel, for an elevated experience that won't disappoint, or a three-star that's a total standout.
  • Holds a Trip Advisor rating of four or above, as many tourists check and use it.
  • It is typically priced between $150 to $500 per night, a common range in New York depending on the time of year and advance booking. While that higher-end might seem, well, high, it's not uncommon in New York in popular seasons, or for those seeking a luxury property. In the off-season, prices might fall as low as $100.
  • Boasts amenities and features that are visually interesting with unique design, architecture, food, or other experiential elements that add value. 
  • Meet our high standard — we don't recommend hotels just because others have, but because we think they truly are the best. We're hard-to-impress New Yorkers, after all.

These are our top New York City hotels to book in 2020:

Keep reading to see why we were so impressed by these 20 New York City hotels, sorted by price from low to high.

Arlo SoHo

Alyssa Powell/Business Insider

Book Arlo SoHo starting at $103 per night

Arlo SoHo seeks to popularize the trend of micro hotels with sleek, tiny rooms measuring barely 150 square feet. And we mean tiny. You can likely reach the bathroom from your bed, and there's little by way of privacy.

But, what it lacks in size, Arlo makes up for with bustling common spaces including four bars, an on-site restaurant, co-working space, rooftop lounge, and a seasonal Instagrammable courtyard. It starts at just $103 in slower months, which a great deal for typically expensive SoHo.

Pros: Cheap room prices and cool SoHo location.

Cons: The room sizes can feel shockingly small and bathrooms lack privacy.

Read Insider Picks' full hotel review of Arlo SoHo

Park South Hotel

Alyssa Powell/Business Insider

Book Park South Hotel starting at $129 per night

Rooms at the Park South Hotel are relatively straightforward, but recent renovations have made it a highly-reviewed hotel in Manhattan's NoMad neighborhood. It belongs to World of Hyatt's Joie de Vivre boutique portfolio and has a standout culinary program that might very well upstage the tasteful rooms.

With prices in low season starting at $129, it's very reasonable for a well-appointed four-star hotel.

Pros: Excellent on-site food and drink with competitive pricing for a four-star hotel.

Cons: Pricing is unstable and can surge hundreds higher than is typical otherwise.

Read Insider Picks' full hotel review for Park South Hotel

Sister City New York

Alyssa Powell/Business Insider

Book Sister City New York starting at $159 per night

Sister City is a new spin-off property from the creative studio behind Ace Hotel that caters to the experienced, and busy, traveler. Self-service tablets guide guests through check-in, while amenities and housekeeping are on demand.

It's a smart approach for savvy guests looking to avoid the pain points of crowded, more traditional hotels and prefer an individualistic approach.

Pros: Affordable prices and a self-service approach helps things to run smoothly. Check-in is a breeze.

Cons: Some might find the self-service stand-offish. Rooms can feel small for two people.

Read Insider Picks' full hotel review of Sister City New York

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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How to change the default email account on your iPhone in 4 steps

Posted: 07 Jan 2020 09:55 AM PST

Apple iPhone 11Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

  • You can easily change your default email account on an iPhone through the device's Mail settings. 
  • The iPhone automatically sets the first email account you put in as your default account.
  • iPhone's Mail app allows you to store more than one email account in the device and switch between different accounts when using the app.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The iPhone's Mail app is an incredibly useful feature pre-installed in the device. The Mail app allows you to connect all of your email addresses, no matter the domain, within the interface of a single app. 

For those who have their work emails separate from personal one, it is important to set their default email correctly on the iPhone because it will be the account that sends out a correspondence whenever you share a link, photo, video or any other forms of media.  

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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