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Why Europeans use electric kettles but Americans don't

Americans don't use electric kettles — or at least it's very rare. This is unlike in Britain, where electric kettles are standard for boiling water.

An electric kettle, which is typically made of plastic or steel, has a heating element on the bottom. The kettle is plugged into an electrical outlet, which powers the coil and heats up the water.

It looks like this:

Or this:

American mostly use stove-top kettles. The kettle is filled with water and then heated on a gas or electric stove. The water boils, producing steam, which then flows out of the kettle spout producing a whistle. The whistle signals that your water is ready and you should turn off the stove.

Here's that process in action:

I'm American, so when I moved to the UK, I was surprised that it was difficult to find the standard stove-top kettle that I had grown up with. They are almost all electric.


Why the North of England's tech scene hasn't taken off

It's no secret that the UK economy is heavily dependent on London, which accounts for approximately 17% of UK GDP

Chancellor George Osborne is well aware of London's dominance and has pledged to create a Northern Powerhouse to help offset the UK's reliance on its capital.

Part of the plan includes expanding the success of the Tech City cluster in East London to the North of England.

Specifically, the government wants to join up the existing tech ecosystems Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Liverpool, Newcastle and Sunderland into one giant tech cluster.

To do this,


Facebook actually does want MBAs — no matter what Sheryl Sandberg says

Though Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg got an MBA from Harvard Business School, she has questioned whether such a degree actually helps people in the tech industry.

In a recent Quora thread, she even went so far as to say: “MBAs are not necessary at Facebook and I don’t believe they are important for working in the tech industry.”

Whether or not this is true is hard to pinpoint, partially because Sandberg’s wording is vague. What does she mean by important? Important to get a job, to do you job, to move up the ladder, to start your own business?

But there is one part of her claim we can check, one that is useful for anyone considering either an MBA or the tech industry.


THE MOBILE CHECKOUT REPORT: How retailers and tech giants are pushing consumers to do more of their spending on smartphones

As millennials and younger consumers become larger parts of the key spending demographic, mobile devices like smartphones and tablets are quickly becoming consumers' primary computing device. But for retailers, that poses a key challenge: Users are spending considerable time shopping on mobile, but making relatively few purchases. 

As a result, social networks, payment processors and card networks, and retailers themselves, are all developing solutions that make it easier for users who shop on mobile to begin to buy on mobile, and then channeling funds into products that incentivize users to do so.


The best Android apps of 2015, according to Google (GOOGL, GOOG)

Every year, the editors at Google hand-select a list of the best Android apps of the year.

They take a bunch of criteria into consideration, including number of installs, which apps have high star ratings, and whether an app either launched or had a big update in 2015.

We've collected all of Google's top picks in one neat place so you can learn more about each one and download your favorites. 

Jet

Jet launched its ecommerce site (and corresponding app) earlier this year to take on Amazon by offering lower prices, thanks to its dynamic pricing engine, which gives shoppers additional discounts based on their location, payment choices, other basket items, and more. 

Touting itself as "the biggest thing in shopping since ... shopping," it promises savings on just about anything. 


I'm a millennial and I've never used a dating app and probably never will — here's why

I was recently out with friends when the conversation took the inevitable turn into dating — more specifically, the hardships of dating in New York City.

I made my usual comment about how dating apps are not helping the dating scene, which is when one of the women I was with said she had found her boyfriend on Tinder.

Cue her boyfriend entering the conversation and arguing that dating apps are a godsend for men who don't have the courage to approach women at a bar.

He proceeded to tell me that there's about a 75% rejection rate when a man approaches a woman at a bar — he failed to mention where he pulled that stat from.

With dating apps though, he pointed out, men don't always have to be the one to make the first move, or if they do, it's a lot less intimidating to do through a phone than in person.


How video streaming services are changing the future of TV

We are witnessing a dramatic transformation in how video content is created, distributed, and monetized. This shift has been brought on by the rising popularity of over-the-top content and video streaming services. 

At Business Insider's IGNITION event, BI Intelligence's Senior Research Analyst Cooper Smith delivered a presentation on how the TV industry is changing — from viewer preferences to key players.  

Here are some of the key takeaways:

TV is on the decline, but broadband is on the rise and millennials are driving the trend. Broadband users cut TV from their subscription package for two main reasons. Streaming services have gone mainstream, and they threaten cable. There is more than one winner in streaming services, and streaming device-makers are benefiting.

Interested in downloading the full slide deck? Get it now by 


Apple has been killing it this year (AAPL)
Posted December 23, 2015 0:37 AM
Apple has been killing it this year (AAPL)

Apple has had a stellar 2015 as the company moves further and further away from the legacy of co-founder Steve Jobs and into a new era for the company, defined by current CEO Tim Cook. 

Apple's revenues have soared during 2015, totalling over $232 billion (£155 billion), up from $191 billion (£128 billion) in 2014. 

While not as flashy on stage as Jobs was, Cook is an effective operator who has steered the company into new areas — such as enterprise — and has updated the stable of products to include the Watch, Apple Music, and various other software products, including the News app. 

The iPhone 6S is, as has


CEO of a startup that just joined the 'Unicorn club': We raised more cash because investors were begging to give it to us

Gusto, the company formerly known as ZenPayroll, raised $50 million more in venture-capital funding, according to an SEC filing.

The new funding values the company at $1 billion, allowing it to join a fast-growing group of more than 140 companies with similar valuations.

Gusto CEO Josh Reeves' company completed a $60 million Series B round earlier this year, with Google Capital as the lead investor. That funding valued Gusto (which was still known as ZenPayroll at the time) at $560 million.

"When we did that round it was very over-subscribed," Reeves tells Business Insider. "We asked a lot of our existing investors, 'How much more would you want to contribute?' And the amount they wanted to contribute versus the amount of space we had to give them was much smaller. It was 4x-5x more than we had space to give them."

...

I tried 23andMe's new genetics test — and now I know why the company caused such a stir

This fall, personal genetics company 23andMe launched a new direct-to-consumer test that complies with the FDA's rules on personal genetics testing.

The new test gives information on everything from how much DNA you share with our Neanderthal ancestors to how much caffeine you likely consume.

It also lets you know if you're carrying certain genetic variations related to diseases that you could pass on to your kids.

I've been interested in what 23andMe is doing ever since I heard they were planning to develop drugs based on genetic information. But I was also curious to see what kind of diseases I might be at risk of passing down to my kids and whether the health concerns that run in my family could be spotted in my spit.

Here's what it was like: