Yearly Archives: 2018

Trump tells crowd in Nashville to ‘get up’ and give him a standing ovation

President Donald Trump.

President Donald Trump.
Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

  • President Donald Trump gave a speech to the American Farm Bureau Federation in Nashville, Tennessee, on Monday.
  • The speech hit on a variety of topics, including the proposed border wall along the US-Mexico border and the new tax law.
  • While discussing the estate tax, Trump requested the crowd “get up” to give him a standing ovation.

President Donald Trump likes a good applause line.

At a rally on Monday, in Nashville, Tennessee, he touted the changes to the US tax code in the new Republican tax law, at one point requesting attendees give him a standing ovation.

Among those changes is a doubling of the threshold to qualify for the estate tax to over $10 million. Americans’ estates larger than $5.6 million had previously been subject to the tax.

Trump said people would now be “spared” from the estate tax, which he called the “death tax,” drawing applause from the crowd at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s convention. Trump then implored the audience to “come on, get up,” and give him a standing ovation.

Later in the speech, Trump said it was a “privilege” for people to get to vote for him.

“Oh, are you happy you voted for me?” Trump said. “You are so lucky that I gave you that privilege.”

Though Trump’s speech focused on a handful of policy proposals aimed at farmers and people in rural areas – like investments in the expansion of broadband internet to those communities – he also touched on national-anthem protests, Second Amendment rights, the “fake media,” and the proposed wall along the US-Mexico border.

Nissan wants to make cars that can read your mind


Nissan’s “Brain-to-Vehicle” technology would read a driver’s brain waves through a skullcap covered in electrodes and wires.

  • Nissan is developing “Brain-to-Vehicle” technology that could read a driver’s mind.
  • The technology would read a driver’s brain waves to increase reaction times or, in an autonomous vehicle, adjust the car’s driving style to increase the owner’s comfort.
  • Nissan plans to demonstrate the technology at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

Nissan is working on making cars that can read your mind.

The company plans to demonstrate its Brain-to-Vehicle technology at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Drivers would wear a skullcap covered in electrodes and wires that would read their brain waves to make the car’s reaction time faster.

If the driver decides to turn the car, for example, the technology could initiate the process before the driver can react to his or her thoughts. A Brain-to-Vehicle system could also be used in an autonomous car, allowing the car to adjust its driving style based on the owner’s desires.

“When most people think about autonomous driving, they have a very impersonal vision of the future, where humans relinquish control to the machines. Yet B2V technology does the opposite, by using signals from their own brain to make the drive even more exciting and enjoyable,” Nissan Executive Vice President Daniele Schillaci said in a statement.

Nissan introduced other technological features for its cars in 2017, including an enhanced cruise-control system that can help control a car in stop-and-go traffic and keep it in its lane, and the ability to start some cars remotely with Alexa devices.

LaVar Ball’s Big Baller Brand given an F by the Better Business Bureau after being blasted with negative reviews and complaints of unfilled orders

  • Big Baller Brand received an F rating from the Better Business Bureau – the worst possible rating a company can get.
  • The poor rating stems from a series of negative reviews and unresolved complaints from Big Baller Brand customers, including many who say that their credit cards have been charged without any word on the whereabouts of their purchase.
  • In response, LaVar Ball insulted the Better Business Bureau, saying “Who cares about them? Tell them that Yelp! has replaced the Better Business Bureau.”

LaVar Ball’s Big Baller Brand has received an F rating from the Better Business Bureau after a series of unresolved complaints about the company and their services.

According to the report from the Better Business Bureau, Big Baller Brand has had 32 complaints with many of them unresolved. Ball’s BBB has also received a number of poor reviews and ratings from its customers, showing that the company seems to have a recurring issue with delivering items on time and handling exchange requests.

“I purchased 2 items and was told there would be a 1-2 week delay,” wrote one BBB customer. “I have been waiting 6 weeks now, and when I asked why it was taking so long, I was called a ‘small baller.’ At this point I believe they have decided to steal my money.”

“I feel like they scammed me,” read another complaint about the company from a customer who claims their credit card had been charged, but had not received his BBB shipment since making an order in July.

Ball downplayed the poor reviews and rating in a text to ESPN, saying “Better Business Bureau is as outdated as the Yellow Pages. Who cares about them? Tell them that Yelp! has replaced the Better Business Bureau. We honestly thought the Better Business Bureau was out of business. The new BBB stands for the Big Baller Brand.”

Ball also dismissed complaints of slow service, saying “Holidays always slows shipping, but we stay on top of customer service. It’s probably Nike and Adidas complaining about not getting their Big Baller Brand merchandise.”

Big Baller Brand has been extremely visible since LaVar Ball and the Ball family became national figures in the sports media landscape, with LaVar almost never pictured without the compnay’s “BBB” logo branded across his chest.

While there are plenty of complaints for Ball to get to, chances are those waiting on their orders will have to wait a little longer, as LaVar is currently in Lithuania with his two younger sons, LiAngelo and LaMelo, helping them prepare for their Lithuanian professional basketball debuts in the “Big Baller Brand Challenge Games.”

Hopefully for him, the games get better reviews than their namesake.

Samsung’s absurd 146-inch TV is an entire wall — hence its name, ‘The Wall’


It’s official: Your TV isn’t as big as Samsung’s “The Wall” television.

Unless you own a movie theater, perhaps? But you probably don’t.

This hulking 146-inch TV isn’t just huge – it’s also sporting a fancy display technology known as microLED, which Samsung says is at the heart of “the screen of the future.”

So what’s the big deal? Here’s what we know.

At 146 inches, it’s absolutely, <em>ridiculously</em> huge.


Samsung isn’t calling this thing “The Wall” for nothing. At 146 inches, it’s more than double the size of most home sets. As someone who recently purchased a 55-inch TV, I have a hard time fathoming how much larger a 146-inch one is.

The image above, released by Samsung, doesn’t do the size of this screen justice. It’s literally a whole wall.

More than just super big, Samsung’s TV is a showcase for a new type of display tech from the South Korean company, which it calls modular microLED technology.

Perhaps you’d like to see a static design instead of the latest “Black Mirror” episode? The Wall can do that.

“Modular microLED” sounds like a bunch of nonsense jargon, right? It’s pretty much exactly that. Here’s a simple breakdown of these new buzzwords.

MicroLED, in the case of this TV, means “it is a self-emitting TV with micrometer-scale LEDs – which are much smaller than current LEDs, and serve as their own source of light,” Samsung says.

What that means for the average human is that the TV doesn’t need a backlight.

Modular means that anyone buying The Wall can customize it.

“The screen can adapt to serve different purposes,” Samsung says, “such as creating a wall-size display for multiple spaces.”

Put more simply, it means you could customize this set to be even larger (or smaller) than 146 inches, though the version Samsung is releasing this year is the 146-inch variety.

The Wall has no price or a release date just yet. But let’s not kid ourselves: This thing is going to cost a ton of cash.


Considering the size, the pedigree of the company behind it, and the new technology it’s using, The Wall is going to cost a lot of money. Like, a lot of money – think tens of thousands of dollars.

But that’s just our best guess. Samsung hasn’t provided an official price for The Wall, and there’s no launch date or window either. A press event scheduled for March is said to offer more details on the massive TV, though, so stay tuned.

Take a closer look at The Wall, care of CNET, here:

The White House doesn’t ‘think there’s any way back’ for Steve Bannon after the Michael Wolff book

  • President Donald Trump’s deputy press secretary called former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon “grotesque” and said there was no way for him to come back into the president’s fold after his comments were featured in Michael Wolff’s new book.
  • The move was seen as a rebuke of an apology Bannon issued late last week.
  • Trump has defended himself against attacks from sources in Wolff’s book, writing on Twitter that he is a “very stable genius.”

Speaking to reporters in Nashville on Monday, White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley called former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon’s statements in author Michael Wolff’s explosive new book “repugnant” and “grotesque,” and said he and President Donald Trump don’t think “there is any way back for Mr. Bannon at this point.”

“When you go after somebody’s family in the matter which he did, two of the president’s children are serving this nation, sacrificing in their service, it is repugnant, it is grotesque and I challenge anybody to go and talk about somebody’s family and see if that person doesn’t come back and comes back hard,” Gidley stated, according to the White House press pool.

These strong words from the White House come after Bannon issued a lengthy apology for the statements he made to Wolff’s book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” in which he said that Donald Trump Jr. “is both a patriot and a good man.”

“He has been relentless in his advocacy for his father and the agenda that has helped turn our country around,” Bannon said.

Gidley appeared to rebuff this apology in Monday’s comments.

In his rebuttal to Bannon, the deputy press secretary seemed to be specifically referencing Bannon’s disparaging statements about Trump’s daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump and his son, Trump Jr. Bannon called Ivanka “dumb as a brick” in one passage in the book, and called the meeting that Trump Jr. held with a Russian lawyer in Trump Tower during the 2016 election “treasonous” in another.

Trump himself has gone on the offensive against Bannon, tweeting that he had “cried when he got fired and begged for his job.”

Trump has also defended his intelligence in the wake of “Fire and Fury” as well.

“Actually, throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart,” Trump tweeted on Saturday.

The president reiterated these assertions later on, calling himself a “very stable genius.”

Cadillac could be the next Tesla if General Motors markets it right

Matthew DeBord/BI

  • General Motors could brand its Cadillac as the next Tesla given the right marketing ploy, Adam Jonas of Morgan Stanley said.
  • The automotive company is undervalued because investors have not properly gauged the potential of Cadillac.
  • The luxury vehicle’s biggest market is China, representing an upside for General Motors’ stock.
  • You can view GM’s stock price here.

General Motors could market its Cadillac brand as the next sustainable and high-performance electric vehicle just like Tesla.

With aggressive marketing, the automotive company has the “potential for fundamental repositioning of Cadillac as a ‘captive Tesla,'”Adam Jonas, an equity analyst at Morgan Stanley, said. The company needs to improve consumer awareness of its brand and technologies, such as a future propulsion system and a subscription-based business model, he added.

Investors have been undervaluing General Motors because Cadillac is larger and more profitable than investors believe. “Discussions with investors suggest a potential “blind spot” on the strategy and valuation of General Motors,” Jonas wrote in a note.

Cadillac reported a sales increase of 15.5% year-to-date, as of December 2016. GM does not break down the profit for its specific brands though.Jonas estimates that Cadillac could be worth $13 billion given the increasing sales, which have doubled since 2010.

Cadillac’s largest market is China, which accounts for over a half of GM’s global sales volume.

General Motor’s stock is trading at $44.29 a share and is up 5.93% over this year.

To read more about how Tesla’s Autopilot and Cadillac’s Super Cruise fare against each other, click here.

General Motors stock price

Markets Insider

Everything we know about Recy Taylor, the sexual assault survivor who inspired Oprah’s iconic Golden Globes speech

Oprah Winfrey’s much-talked-about Golden Globes speech – which may or may not spark a 2020 bid for the White House – mentioned the story of Recy Taylor.

• Taylor was a young African American woman from Alabama who fought for justice after she was abducted, raped, and threatened by a group of white men in 1944.

• The rapists were never prosecuted, but her efforts helped to lay the groundwork for the monumental Montgomery bus boycott.

Oprah Winfrey’s rousing speech didn’t just prompt a standing ovation at the Golden Globes – it’s got people talking about whether or not she’ll make a run for the White House in 2020.

The media mogul focused on the importance of the #MeToo movement, heaped praise on the free press, and called on listeners to take steps to fight injustice.

She also took time to share the story of the late Recy Taylor.

Taylor was a young African American woman living in Alabama when she was abducted and raped by a group of white men in 1944. Her quest for justice proved to be a pivotal but often overlooked moment for the American civil rights movement.

“Recy Taylor died ten days ago, just shy of her 98th birthday,” Winfrey said, during her speech. “She lived, as we all have lived, too many years in a culture broken by brutally powerful men. For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dared speak their truth to the power of those men. But their time is up.”

Here’s a look at the story of the late Recy Taylor:

Taylor was born in 1919 to a family of sharecroppers living in Abbeville, Alabama. The New York Times reported that she helped raise her six younger siblings after her mother died when she was 17.

Abbeville, Alabama.
Wikimedia Commons

Source: The New York Times

By September 1944, the 24-year-old was married to Willie Guy Taylor and had a baby daughter, Joyce Lee.

Source: The Washington Post

On the evening of September 3, Taylor was walking back from church with her friend Fannie Daniel and Daniel’s son West, when they noticed a green Chevrolet pass by them several times.


Source: The Daily Mail, The Washington Post, “At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance

The car carried a group of armed white men — Herbert Lovett, Hugo Wilson Dillard York, Luther Lee, Willie Joe Culpepper, Billy Howerton, and Robert Gamble. The men pulled alongside the churchgoers. Taylor attempted to run for the tree line, but she was forced into the car and abducted at gunpoint.


Source: The Daily Mail, The Washington Post, “At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance

The assailants drove Taylor to a nearby patch of pine trees and forced her to take off her clothes. She begged the kidnappers to let her “go home to my husband and baby.” Lovett told her to “act just like you do with your husband or I’ll cut your d— throat.” He and five other men raped Taylor.

Source: The Daily Mail, The Washington Post, “At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance

Taylor was blindfolded, driven to a nearby highway, and abandoned on the side of the road. The men said they would let her go, but warned her they would kill her if she told anyone about the attack, she later recounted to NPR. After her attackers drove off, she took off the blindfold and walked home.


Source: The Daily Mail, The Washington Post, “At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance,” NPR

In “At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance,” Danielle L. McGuire writes the attack on Taylor wasn’t simply a horrific, random crime. It took place in a specific historical context, as part of “a ritual of rape in which white men in the segregated South abducted and assaulted black women with alarming regularity and stunning uniformity.”

Lukasz Siekierski/Shutterstock

Source: “At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance

But despite the threats against her life, Taylor reported the crime to the police. Daniel’s description of the car led police to bring in Wilson, who identified the other attackers. The local police showed little interest in aggressively pursuing the case.


Source: The Daily Mail, The Washington Post, “At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance

Taylor and her family were targeted over her decision to speak out. Their porch was set on fire, death threats were circulated around town, and officials spread gossip that Taylor was a prostitute. They ended up moving back with Taylor’s relatives.


Source: The Daily Mail, The Washington Post, “At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance,” The New York Times

Meanwhile, as progress on the case stalled, the African American community of Abbeville sought help from the NAACP. The organization assigned Taylor’s case to a young investigator by the name of Rosa Parks. Parks met with Taylor, until a deputy sheriff threatened to lock her up if she didn’t leave town.

Source: The Daily Mail, The Washington Post, “At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance,” The New York Times

The involvement of Parks and the NAACP ensured that the case received national attention. Taylor’s story was printed in African American newspapers throughout the country. The negative attention forced Alabama Governor Chauncey Sparks to order an investigation.

Alabama Governor Chauncey Sparks.
Wikimedia Commons

Source: The Daily Mail, The Washington Post, “At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance

Despite these efforts, however, Taylor’s case never went to trial. Two grand juries — both composed entirely of white men — were convened. The first grand jury was marred by the fact that the suspects hadn’t even been arrested, making it impossible for Taylor to identify her attackers. The second went nowhere despite the fact one of the attackers — Culpepper — admitted his guilt. Both grand juries refused to issue charges against the attackers.

Wikimedia Commons

Source: The Huffington Post, The Daily Mail, The Washington Post, “At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance

Still, Taylor’s case would prove to be a pivotal moment for the civil rights movement. Led by Parks, the African American community would later mobilize again in order to win a major victory during the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955.

Source: The Huffington Post, The Daily Mail, The Washington Post, “At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance

Decades after she was attacked, Taylor received an apology from Alabama’s state legislature and the town of Abbeville until 2011, after McGuire’s book brought attention to her case.

Source: The HThe Daily Mail, The Washington Post, “At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance,” The New York Times

Taylor died in an Abbeville, Alabama nursing home on December 28, 2017. She was 97. At the Golden Globes, Winfrey mentioned her recent passing: “Recy Tayor died knowing that her truth, like the truth of so many other women who were tormented in those years and even now are tormented, goes marching on.”

Source: The Guardian, Pop & Sports HQ

In-N-Out has added its first new menu item in 15 years — here’s our review

Melia Robinson/Business Insider

  • In-N-Out has added hot cocoa to the menu in at least some locations.
  • This is the first new menu item that the chain has added in 15 years.
  • We gave it a try.

In-N-Out has added its first new menu item in more than a decade: hot cocoa.

Made with hot water and Ghirardelli chocolate and topped with (optional) marshmallows, the drink began cropping up on menus in late December. An eight-ounce cup costs $1.60.

The West Coast burger chain has a noticeably slimmer menu than McDonald’s and Burger King, with few options beyond burgers, fries, and shakes. The chocolatey addition could be a hint that In-N-Out is more seriously considering expanding into chillier regions. In November, news broke that the chain will open a distribution center for operations in Colorado.

In-N-Out’s hot cocoa isn’t exactly new, but returning. It debuted on the menu in the 1950s, shortly after the first In-N-Out location opened outside West Covina, California, in 1948.

“I’m not sure how it fell off the menu but it’s part of our culture and something special for kids, and I’m happy that we’re bringing it back,” In-N-Out President Lynsi Snyder told FOX11 LA.

She added, “For a certain generation, hot cocoa is an In-N-Out classic, and we hope it will be a favorite of a new generation. It’s quality cocoa from Ghiradelli and yes, we serve it with marshmallows!”

I arrived at In-N-Out in Daly City, California, brimming with optimism. I ordered a burger, fries prepared “animal style” with cheese, special sauce, and onions, and a hot cocoa.

in n out hot burger

Melia Robinson/Business Insider

Behold, the only new item to make the In-N-Out menu in 15 years: hot cocoa.

in n out hot cocoa review 2863

Melia Robinson/Business Insider

My high hopes quickly subsided. I was not given the side of marshmallows that Snyder had promised. When I popped open the lid, I saw that the hot cocoa more closely resembled Swiss Miss, which comes in a packet, than thick, decadent hot chocolate.

in n out hot cocoa review 2864

Melia Robinson/Business Insider

The hot cocoa was served at just the right temperature – neither lukewarm nor scalding. And it was definitely chocolatey, but as I slurped back the nostalgic drink, it tasted thin and watery.

in n out hot cocoa review 2861

Melia Robinson/Business Insider

The hot cocoa came as a disappointment from the home of the double-double – named the best burger in America by review site Ranker. And I’m not the only fan who thought so.

People took to Twitter to share their (albeit mixed) reviews:

Some Twitter users were left pining for breakfast items to come to In-N-Out.

The hot cocoa at In-N-Out will be available year-round and is free for kids on rainy days.

Toyota unveiled a crazy-looking self-driving vehicle that could haul freight or deliver pizza on the sidewalk

Toyota will design the e-Palette with input from companies like Amazon, Didi, Mazda, Pizza Hut, and Uber.

Toyota will design the e-Palette with input from companies like Amazon, Didi, Mazda, Pizza Hut, and Uber.

  • Toyota revealed a self-driving concept vehicle, the e-Palette, at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) on Monday.
  • The vehicle will come in three sizes and is designed to be used for a variety of purposes, including freight and package delivery, ride-sharing, and mobile offices and storefronts.
  • Toyota hopes to start testing the vehicle in the early 2020s.

Toyota revealed a self-driving concept vehicle, the e-Palette, at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas on Monday.

The electric, box-shaped vehicle will come in three sizes. The largest will be around the size of a bus and be able to haul freight and make large deliveries, while the smallest will be compact enough to travel on sidewalks. Toyota envisions the e-Palette will serve a variety of potential uses, allowing businesses to deliver goods, transport people, or use the vehicle as a mobile storefront or office.

Toyota will design the vehicle with input from companies like Amazon, Didi, Mazda, Pizza Hut, and Uber. Toyota hopes to start testing it during the early 2020s and integrate the e-Palette into the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

These are some of the potential uses Toyota envisions for the e-Palette.

These are some of the potential uses Toyota envisions for the e-Palette.

“The automobile industry is clearly amidst its most dramatic period of change as technologies like electrification, connected and automated driving are making significant progress,” Toyota president Akio Toyoda said in a statement. “This announcement marks a major step forward in our evolution towards sustainable mobility, demonstrating our continued expansion beyond traditional cars and trucks to the creation of new values including services for customers.”

In 2017, Toyota introduced a similarly futuristic concept vehicle that would have airless tires.

STOCKS CLIMB HIGHER: Here’s what you need to know

REUTERS/ Anton Ferreira

US stocks climbed higher, led by technology shares, as investors continue to price in the impact of tax cuts ahead of corporate earnings season, which starts later this week.

The S&P 500 rose 0.2%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined less than 0.1% and the more tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 increased 0.3%.

First up, the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 25,283, -12.87, (-0.05%)
  • S&P 500: 2,747.71, +4.56, (+0.17%)
  • Nasdaq: 7,157.39, +20.83, (+0.29%)
  • US 10-year yield: 2.48%, +0.004
  • WTI crude oil: $61.89, +$0.45, +0.73%

1. Wall Street is set up for an abnormal earnings season. In the fourth quarter of last year, Wall Street analysts made the smallest cuts to their estimates of any quarter since 2010, according to FactSet.

2. GoPro cut over 250 jobs and reduced its CEO’s cash pay to $1 in a huge restructuring plan. The stock dropped as much as 33% as the company also said it will exit the drone business. The company also denied reports that it’s hired JPMorgan to advise in a sale.

3. Spotify is bypassing the normal IPO process – and there are good reasons why more companies don’t do it. Most notably, very few companies have the same combination of name-brand recognition and private fundraising success that Spotify does.

4. Kohl’s is defying the retail meltdown – and it’s more proof that malls are dying. The company’s same-store sales surged 6.9% during the holiday period.

5. Amazon is making a major play for Windows PCs. At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, several Windows PC manufacturers announced new computers coming this year that will support Amazon’s voice assistant, Alexa.


JEFFERIES: Snap’s app redesign could backfire

Bitcoin plunges 8% after a weekend rally

Trump is planning to use a misleading number to try and sell the GOP tax law

GoPro’s plunging stock made short sellers $45 million in a single day

Facebook has hit a wall

A top Fed official says a policy shift once seen as radical is ‘not nearly as scary as you might think’