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A California woman says her family experienced ‘sheer terror’ after their Nest security camera was hacked, warning them of a North Korean missile attack (GOOG, GOOGL)

Nest Indoor camNest

  • A Northern California family experienced "five minutes of sheer terror" after their Nest surveillance camera was hacked, warning them of a North Korea missile attack, according to The Mercury News. 
  • The camera rang out the detailed message: "North Korean intercontinental ballistic missiles headed to Los Angeles, Chicago and Ohio," though the family saw no such warning on television. 
  • It is not the first time Nest products have been susceptible to hacks. In December, a hacker took control of one couple’s camera and announced he was in their child’s room.

One Northern California family was thrown into a panic when their Nest surveillance camera began blaring out a detailed message about North Korean intercontinental ballistic missiles headed to three metropolitan US cities, according to the Mercury News

"It warned that the United States had retaliated against Pyongyang and that people in the affected areas had three hours to evacuate," Laura Lyons told the Bay Area newspaper on Monday. "It sounded completely legit, and it was loud and got our attention right off the bat. It was five minutes of sheer terror and another 30 minutes trying to figure out what was going on."

Lyons and her husband found no such warning when they turned on the television or when they called 911. Their 8-year-old son, however, was so scared that he hid underneath the rug.

After a phone call to Nest customer service, Lyons and her husband learned they were victims of an increasingly common hack — so common, in fact, that just last month, another couple ran to their child’s bedroom after they heard a message saying "I’m in your baby’s room," according to NBC News.

One hacker even made it his mission to tell Nest owners just how unsecure their product was by broadcasting his voice to between five and 10 home security cameras

A spokesperson for Nest did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment on the latest incident, but told the Mercury News that recent incidents were the result of compromised passwords that were exposed through breaches on other websites.

Nest marks a variety of smart home products, including security cameras and thermostats. The startup, founded by Tony Fadell, was bought by Google for $3.2 billion in 2014. It was later a standalone company when Google reorganized to Alphabet in 2015, then was folded back into Google’s hardware division early last year. 

NOW WATCH: All smartphones look the same today for 2 key reasons

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SEE ALSO: The market for tech products for aging baby boomers is expected to balloon to $20 billion by 2020. Here are some of the best

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The officials for the Super Bowl are set, and the Rams have a good history with the referee

John ParryRich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

  • Officials can have a huge impact on the outcome of games, as both NFL conference championship games proved this year.
  • John Parry will serve as referee for Super Bowl LIII between the Los Angeles Rams and the New England Patriots.
  • Since Parry became a referee in 2012, the Rams are 7-0 in games that he has officiated, while the Patriots are just 9-5.
  • Check out all of Business Insider’s Super Bowl LIII coverage here.

If the NFL conference championship games taught us anything, it’s how crucial an official’s decision can be to the outcome of a game.

In the NFC Championship, the Saints were robbed of a spot in the Super Bowl due to a controversial no-call on what looked like an obvious pass interference penalty in the game’s final minutes. In the AFC Championship, a close-up, slow-motion review overturned what could have been a momentum-swinging turnover.

Read more: Saints head coach Sean Payton called the league office minutes after losing NFC Championship over blown call

It’s a hard truth about sports, but sometimes, an official’s decision can make all the difference.

Understandably then, those that are selected to officiate the Super Bowl are the best in the league, chosen based on their performance throughout the season and experience through their careers.

This year, John Parry will be the referee of Super Bowl LIII, his third time on a Super Bowl time and the second time in the lead position.

Parry’s selection might not be major news to most NFL fans, but one stark trend in his history tells us that it might be good news for the Los Angeles Rams.

Since Parry became a referee in 2007, the Rams are 7-0 in games that he has officiated. The Patriots also have a winning record when playing in games called by Parry, but their 9-5 mark is dotted with important losses — including the last Super Bowl that Parry worked, the Giants’ second win over the Patriots in 2012.

This is not a suggestion that Parry favors the Rams in any way, but a trend is a trend, and given how important the officials proved themselves to be in the conference championship games, this is a trend that Rams fans should certainly be happy is on their side.

  • More Super Bowl LIII coverage:

The Patriots added 8 new plays they’d never practiced the morning of the AFC title game, and one played a huge role in the win

Food and concessions at this year’s Super Bowl will be ridiculously cheap compared to other recent games

Here’s how much Super Bowl tickets cost, less than 2 weeks from game day

There’s a Chick-fil-A in Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium — but the chain is refusing to open it on Super Bowl Sunday

NOW WATCH: North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un is 35 — here’s how he became one of the world’s scariest dictators

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CNN host Chris Cuomo suggested Kamala Harris should prove she was born in the US and the internet swiftly rebuked him

Kamala HarrisAP Photo/Alex Brandon

  • CNN host Chris Cuomo jumped into a Twitter debate Tuesday on whether Sen. Kamala Harris of California, who was born in San Francisco Bay city of Oakland, is constitutionally eligible for the White House because her parents are immigrants.
  • In a tweet, Cuomo suggested that Harris should "deal with the allegation" to avoid trouble later down the campaign road. His audience quickly hit back, saying it was an example of a "birtherism."
  • The phrase was used when President Barack Obama was in office, during which time private-citizen Donald Trump publicly questioned whether Obama was born in the US.
  • Cuomo removed his tweet and apologized, saying Harris "has no duty to justify any such accusation."

CNN host Chris Cuomo landed himself in a bit of trouble Tuesday after seemingly suggesting that California Sen. Kamala Harris, who on Monday announced her candidacy for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, should prove that she was born in the US in order to avoid trouble later down the campaign trail.

Cuomo made the comment on Twitter after an alt-right conspiracy theorist and provocateur falsely claimed that Harris is ineligible for the Oval Office because her father, a Jamaican immigrant, and her mother, an Indian immigrant, were not legal residents for five years prior to her birth.

The theory also suggests that Harris cannot run for president because she spent part of her childhood in Canada. Regardless of her parents’ immigration status at the time of her birth, Harris has the right to run for president because she was born in the US (Oakland, California), a right protected by Article 2, Section 1 of the US constitution.

However, in a tweet, Cuomo seemed to suggest that Harris should prove her citizenship in order to avoid trouble later.

"And hopefully there will be no games where the issue keeps changing for righty accusers…and…the legit info abt Harris comes out to deal with the allegation ASAP. The longer there is no proof either way, the deeper the effect," Cuomo’s tweet read. The comment was quickly deleted after swift rebuke from Cuomo’s audience.

The CNN host quickly apologized, saying his comments were taken "literally the opposite way" he intended.

Read more:Here’s why the firestorm over Ted Cruz’s Canadian birth is nothing like the Obama ‘birther’ controversy

Both Cuomo’s original comment, the false conspiracy theory, and the reaction to it alluded to the infamous birtherism claim that President Barack Obama was not born in the US. Then-private citizen Donald Trump pushed that idea, which was later co-opted by conservative and right-wing figures. Obama is a US citizen and was born in Hawaii.

Trump later disavowed the assertion during his own presidential campaign in 2016.

NOW WATCH: MSNBC host Chris Hayes thinks President Trump’s stance on China is ‘not at all crazy’

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SEE ALSO: Trump is reviving the attack that made him politically famous — this time against a new target

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LittleBits makes toys that teach kids STEM skills — my sons and I enjoyed this $150 ‘Avengers’ kit, but most only cost around $60

The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you’ll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

littleBits STEM kitlittleBits

  • With society’s growing reliance on technology, educators are putting a greater emphasis on learning STEM skills (science, tech, engineering, and math).
  • LittleBits has emerged as one of the leaders in STEM learning resources for all genders at home and in the classroom.
  • The Avengers Hero Inventor Kit pairs with your iOS or Android smart device and encourages creativity, teaches coding, and gives the basics of circuits and electrical engineering.
  • Though the LittleBits Avengers Hero Inventor Kit is expensive (currently $150 on Amazon), there are more than 18 in-app activities, limitless customization, and you can use the kit with other LittleBits sets.

One of the biggest challenges in my house is limiting my sons’ screen time. Jerome, who’s 15, usually streams YouTube videos while playing first-person shooter games. And we had to block YouTube for Bucky, who’s five, because there is just too much garbage on there that kids can get to. Now, he enjoys Peppa Pig, Paw Patrol, PJ Masks, and other kid favorites. New toys tend to divert their attention from screens for a short time, but they generally lose interest and are quickly back to zoning out in front of the tube.

This is where STEM learning toys are helpful. The best STEM toys have open play, where your child can use their imagination to create their own experience. LittleBits is one of the top makers of kits that nurture science, tech, engineering, arts, and math. We had the opportunity to try out the new Avengers Hero Inventor Kit recently for free. Here are our experiences with it.

Getting started with the Avengers Hero Inventor Kit

The Avengers Hero Inventor Kit comes with an Iron Man arm and stand, a gauntlet, two sheets of decals, and nine "bits." Bits are circuitry building blocks that serve as the basis for each of LittleBits’ kits. Your child can use the bits for various creations.

Everything you need comes in the box, except you will need a smart device that runs on iOS 10.0 or later or Android 5.0 or later. Once you download the app, your child can easily follow the step-by-step interactive tutorials to get started. For example, one of the first creations is connecting the power supply bit to the LED matrix bit to get the matrix to light up. The circuitry then slides into the gauntlet and can be worn on the forearm and hand of your young one.


Playing with the kit

As is his MO, Jerome immediately went to work on the basic setup: getting the gauntlet to light up and putting it on his brother’s arm. Then, Jerome was done with the kit. He’s advanced past the basic STEM learning toys, and his video games were calling.

On the other hand, Bucky kept coming back to the kit. The kit is designed for kids eight years and older. At 5, Bucky is a little too young to enjoy all that the kit has to offer, but there were still plenty of features he could enjoy with my help. I like toys that keep him busy when I’m trying to get work done, and this is not the toy for that. But, it did a great job of facilitating rewarding father-son time.

About once a week, he’d see the set sitting on the shelf and ask to play with it, and we’d spend about 30 to 60 minutes with it. When it came to self-directed playing, his favorite part was changing the colors and patterns on the LED matrix. He liked creating robot faces.

With the step-by-step instructions, videos, and tutorials, there’s essentially no learning curve to this device. Your child just follows the directions, and they’re on their way to superherodom. Or, in my case, I followed the instructions, and Bucky was on his way to superherodom.

I really like that the bits from the Avengers Kit can be used with other LittleBits toys, including the Droid Inventor Kit that we already have. Plus, there are dozens of other bits you can purchase à la carte on the LittleBits website.

I was also impressed by the seemingly limitless possibilities for play thanks to the block coding fundamentals it teaches. By following the simple in-app steps, we were able to create a gauntlet that made cool superhero sounds and displayed our custom designs with different movements.

I’m excited to watch Bucky grow into this toy. As he learns to read, he’ll be able to follow the directions on his own and get into the coding aspect to make his own creations. This is in stark contrast to the toy cars that he’s been into recently and will likely grow out of.

A few quirks to consider

I learned the hard way that Bucky needs to be supervised when playing with the Avengers Hero Inventor Kit. At some point, he damaged the LED matrix, and it would no longer light. He didn’t mention it to me — probably because he thought he might get in trouble. I just noticed that he hadn’t played with the kit in a while. Fortunately, LittleBits has excellent customer service. I contacted them, and without flashing any media credentials, they happily sent me a replacement.

There were times when the app would just crash on us. I was not able to pinpoint what was doing it, but I think it may have had something to do with the Bluetooth functionality. At one point, when I disconnected the Bluetooth bit, the app crashed. Fortunately, it never crashed at critical moments.

The bottom line

At its current price of $150, I would be unlikely to buy the Avengers Hero Inventor Kit over other kits that LittleBits offers. The price is a bit steep, and the company offers several other excellent alternatives at a more affordable price point. Fortunately, in the last few months, the price has dipped significantly lower, and I’d assume the price will decrease again in the future. If you find the kit offered at a lower price, I strongly recommend buying it if you have a child aged eight years or older in your life who is interested in the STEM disciplines.

Though your child will still utilize a screen to play with the Avengers Hero Inventor Kit, it will be positive screen time that will engage both sides of their brain. So, you can feel less guilt!

Buy the LittleBits Avengers Hero Inventor Kit on Amazon for $150

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The US has issued a security alert for a major border city in Mexico after a wave of attacks on police

Mexico Ciudad Juarez police crime sceneREUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez

  • The US consulate in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, has issued a warning about the area to US citizens.
  • The alert came a day after a series of attacks on police in Juarez, believed to be the work of organized crime.
  • Violence has risen throughout Mexico in recent years, and the US government has issued warnings about dangerous parts of the country.

After a series of attacks on police in Ciudad Juarez last week, the US Consulate General there issued an alert about potential violence the city, which borders El Paso, Texas.

In six attacks on January 17, gunmen wounded at least eight police officers, two critically, and torched a bus, according to the El Paso Times.

Just before 3 p.m. that day, gunmen opened fire on police in the eastern part of the city, wounding three. Minutes later, gunmen fired on other officers, including a policewoman who was hospitalized in critical condition.

A little before 4 p.m., police stopped an attack on an officer in downtown Juarez, but that was followed an hour later in the eastern part of the city by an attack that left four officers wounded and hospitalized in stable condition. Shots were fired at a police station after that.

Just before 8 p.m., several suspects were arrested after gunmen fired on a passing police patrol car in the eastern part of the city.

Mexico Ciudad Juarez bus firefightersREUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez

The driver of a public bus told local media that gunmen had forced their way onto the bus, robbing passengers and telling the driver to turn the bus to block the street. The assailants poured gas inside the bus and onto passengers, telling them to get off before torching the bus. No one was hurt.

On January 18, the US consulate in Juarez issued an alert for US citizens and personnel, saying it was aware of "a series of connected attacks" on police in Juarez and in Chihuahua City, the state capital.

"Authorities believe that members of organized criminal groups are carrying out these attacks, which are expected to continue," the alert said, adding that US personnel should avoid police stations "to the extent possible until further notice."

Read more: Here’s how Mexican cartels actually operate in the United States

The alert advised US citizens to be aware of their surroundings, drive with doors locked and windows up, and be prepared to use alternative routes when traveling between frequent locations.

Attacks on US government personnel in Mexico are rare, but they have happened before. In 2010, at the height of a period of drug-related violence in Juarez, three people, including two US citizens, were gunned down after leaving a party at the consulate in what former gang members testified was a case of mistaken identity.

A ‘virulent reaction’

Mexico Ciudad Juarez police soldiers crime sceneREUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez

The city public-security chief in Juarez has ordered police stations to reinforce security, patrolling and closing streets. Local newspaper El Diario also reported that streets had been closed to protect police guarding hospitalized gang members from retaliatory attacks.

The day after the attacks, the mayor of Juarez said they were a "virulent reaction" to recent drug and weapon seizures in the city.

Authorities said more than 120 pounds of crystal meth had been seized between late December and January, with the most recent seizure on the morning of January 16. Police have also arrested dozens of alleged members La Linea and Mexicles, gangs suspected of involvement in the attacks, including a suspected leader of the Mexicles gang.

La Linea is believed to be aligned with the Juarez cartel, and Mexicles has been linked to the Sinaloa cartel. The two gangs were rivals but have become partners, according to local authorities.

Mexico police forensics crime scene homicides Ciudad JuarezREUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez

Juarez’s location on the border — socially and culturally intertwined with El Paso — makes it valuable to drug traffickers. Between 2008 and 2012, the Juarez and Sinaloa cartels battled for control of smuggling routes through the city, leaving more than 10,000 dead and making it one of the most violent places in the world.

The violence declined significantly after 2012, but a local gang leader said in 2016 that trafficking had continued and warned that drug-related violence in the city would only increase.

Read more: Mexican troops are in the streets to fight the drug war, and the country’s defense chief says legalization may be ‘a way out’

And the past four years have seen an increase in killing. After 269 homicides in 2015, the city had 470 in 2016, followed by 636 in 2017 and 1,004 in 2018, according to government data. Through mid-January, the city reportedly had 46 homicides.

Since Gov. Javier Corral took office in October 2016, 66 officers have been killed in Chihuahua state — 29 of them in 2018 and two so far this year. Military police have been sent to Juarez as part of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s national-security plan. About 70 arrived in early December.

Mexico military police Ciudad JuarezREUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez

As in much of Mexico, the violence in Juarez has been attributed in part to the ongoing fragmentation of and fighting between organized-crime groups. In Chihuahua state, as in other parts of the country, changes in government, which can jumble narco-politico alliances, has also been blamed for some violence.

The bloodshed in Juarez has also been stoked by growing competition over cross-border smuggling by major groups like the Sinaloa and Jalisco New Generation cartels, as well as by fighting for the burgeoning local drug market, particularly meth sales, led mainly by smaller gangs like La Linea, Mexicles, and Barrio Azteca.

Experts have said most of the recent fighting is mainly between the Juarez cartel and Barrio Azteca, one-time allies. The arrival of meth, pushed largely by the Jalisco New Generation cartel, has added to conflict, with members of Azteca seeing the drug as a threat to their business, according to University of Texas at El Paso professor Howard Campbell.

In 2015, the city had 1,647 cases of narcomenudeo, or street-level drug sales. That rose to 2,779 in 2016 and to 6,576 in 2017, declining only slightly to 6,394 in 2018.

"Most of the homicides … are from a fight over the point of sale of drugs at [the retail level] or they are detentions of people who have a high rank inside the criminal structure, and in this manner they have fragmented … some homicides have as cause that motive," Jorge Nava, prosecutor for the northern district of Chihuahua, said this month.

NOW WATCH: I spent a day with Border Patrol agents at the US-Mexico border

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SEE ALSO: Homicides in Mexico rose 33% in 2018, setting a new record for the 2nd year in a row

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More climate change disasters could increase iPhone demand, Apple predicts (AAPL)


  • Apple sees potential opportunities if climate change increases the amount of extreme weather or government regulation. 
  • One possible effect named by Apple in a new report is that its safety features, including a flashlight, could increase the demand for iPhones.
  • But there are a lot of risks for businesses created by climate change as well. 

The dangers of climate change — from rising sea levels to more frequent droughts — are expected to have a devastating impact on society. 

For Apple, a changing climate could also mean increased customer loyalty and demand for iPhones. 

That’s one of the conclusions in a report Apple produced about its business, which was published on Tuesday by CDP, a nonprofit that collects information from companies about their environmental impact.

Apple is among numerous large companies, including Walt Disney Co and Bank of America, to provide similar reports to the organization identifying "climate-related" risks and opportunities with the potential to materially impact its business.

The surprisingly detailed report includes items about risks, opportunities, and the specific personnel at the company overseeing Apple’s environmental program. Apple confirmed that the answers were submitted on behalf of Apple and that the report is voluntary and isn’t required by a government regulator.  While the estimates are based on public information, the report offers an interesting assessment of how Apple views the impact of climate change on its business. 

For example, Apple said it would "more likely than not" benefit if various governments increased their rules about how power-efficient electronics need to be. "Apple would be well positioned to benefit from such regulations, due to our ongoing focus on the energy efficiency of our products," the company said in the report. 

The potential benefit? $2.3 billion, calculated by estimating a hypothetical increase in Apple’s total sales. 

Another eye-opening opportunity that Apple identified in the report is that increased severe weather events could increase the demand for iPhones. 

"Mobile devices can serve as the backbone communication network in emergency and quasi-emergency situations," Apple wrote. "They can serve as a flashlight or a siren; they can provide first aid instructions; they can act as a radio; and they can be charged for many days via car batteries or even hand cranks. Over time, as people begin to experience severe weather events with greater frequency, we expect an increasing need for confidence and preparedness in the arena of personal safety and the well-being of loved ones."

"This potential need reinforces a trend we believe is already in evidence following the events of 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, Superstorm Sandy, and Hurricane Harvey," it continued. 

Apple said that its features like "SOS," which enables iPhones and Apple Watches to contact emergency services easily, could lead to "increased customer loyalty and demand."

Apple said that the positive impact from climate change could be as large as $920 million, and it’s "about as likely as not." That was calculated by adding an additional hypothetical 0.5% to its current brand value, as estimated by Interbrand. 

"Over the past few years, for example, we enabled iPhone to receive Wireless Emergency Alerts, including alerts from the National Weather Service and local law enforcement. These alerts also appear on Apple Watch. We also offer a free ‘find friends’ app, and a fast-access flashlight," Apple wrote. 

Apple also said that it could be successful in making products which are attractive to people who have concerns about climate change or rising electricity prices.

Addressing risks 

Lisa JacksonGettyBut in addition to opportunities, there are still severe risks to Apple’s business that could be caused by climate change. 

For example, Apple said that severe weather events could "strain the infrastructure systems" it needs to manufacture and sell its products.

Potential cost? $300 million — a significant sum, though a fraction of Apple’s 2017 operating expenses of $194 billion.

Apple also said that being environmentally conscious was important for its reputation. " For example, if Apple is not transparent and does not adequately explain its actions to its stakeholders, public misconception could create the perception that the Company is not environmentally responsible," Apple wrote. 

"Though any one incident is unlikely to affect the Company’s reputation, over time and cumulatively a perceived lack of transparency could detract from Apple’s brand value, and could reduce people’s inclination to purchase from, invest in, or work for Apple," it continued.

So far, according to the report, many aspects of Apple’s business haven’t been affected, but Apple is planning for the future. One example that it provides is that at its new headquarters, it has installed drought-resistant trees and built berms — an investment of about $60 million. 

Apple issues an environmental report every year and 100% of its stores, offices, and other operations are powered by renewable energy, the company proudly says. Leading Apple’s internal environmental efforts is Lisa Jackson, a former head of the US Environmental Protection Agency, who reports directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook. 

"Today, we remain focused on three priorities where we and our stakeholders believe Apple can make the biggest difference," Jackson said in a letter published last April, citing climate change, conserving resources, and using safer materials as key priorities. 

Apple was among 30 U.S.-based companies to receive an "A" rating from CDP.

NOW WATCH: Jeff Bezos is worth over $100 billion — here’s how the world’s richest man makes and spends his money

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SEE ALSO: Apple is reportedly planning to change a key component of every iPhone lineup by 2020, and now one of its major suppliers is scrambling

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Super Bowl MVP odds: Breaking down 15 players chances of being named Super Bowl MVP

Tom BradyPatrick Smith/Getty Images

  • The New England Patriots will face the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII on Sunday, February 3.
  • Odds are already out for who will win Super Bowl MVP, with plenty of interesting long shot bets available on both the Patriots and Rams.
  • Both quarterbacks are the heavy favorites to win the award, but surprises do happen — two of the past five Super Bowl MVPs have been defensive players.
  • See the odds for Super Bowl MVP below and follow all of Business Insider’s Super Bowl LIII coverage here.

The build to Super Bowl LIII is officially on, with the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams set to meet at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Sunday, February 3 to battle for the Lombardi Trophy.

No one knows how the game will shake out, but that hasn’t stopped bookmakers from offering odds on which player will win Super Bowl MVP when the final whistle is blown.

There are a few recent trends in Super Bowl MVPs that one should be aware of before betting. First and foremost, quarterbacks are the most likely winners, having taken the award in nine of the past 12 championship games.

Beyond quarterbacks, game-changing wide receivers and defensive standouts usually have the best chance of having a big day and being recognized as the best player on the field.

While you might think that running backs would be a wise wager for Super Bowl MVP, none have won since Terrell Davis in 1998 — three linebackers and a safety have all won the award more recently.

This year, the Rams and Patriots present plenty of compelling candidates to take home the award. Both quarterbacks are the predictably heavy favorites, but the Rams and Patriots are both so stocked with potential breakout players that some interesting long shots emerge if you think the game might wind up getting a bit weird.

Below we break down the 15 players with the best odds to win Super Bowl MVP this year.

Odds come courtesy of, and are current as of 1/22/19.

Josh Reynolds (66/1)

Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

NFC Championship stats: 4 receptions, 74 receiving yards, 1 carry, 16 rushing yards

One thing to know: Josh Reynolds has stepped up in the absence of injured wide receiver Cooper Kupp as an important pass-catcher for the Rams offense. He’s also used in some rushing and semi-trick plays that Los Angeles likes to run in big spots. A few touchdowns and one or two big conversions on memorable plays, and it’s not inconceivable he wins the award.

Dante Fowler Jr. (66/1)

Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

NFC Championship stats: 5 total tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 0.5 sacks, 2 quarterback hits

One thing to know: Defensive players have won Super Bowl MVP twice in the past five years, but they need to have a huge game, and usually force some turnovers or even score to do it.

Aqib Talib (66/1)

Adam Bow/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

NFC Championship stats: 2 solo tackles

One thing to know: As a former Patriot, Talib would certainly fit the MVP narrative if he had a big day that contributed to a Rams upset victory.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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READ MORE: Check out all of our Super Bowl LIII coverage here

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China’s J-20 stealth fighter has no cannon — and it shows the jet can’t dogfight with the US

J-20 china stealthWikimedia Commons

  • China’s J-20 stealth fighter lacks a gun, something which the US’s stealth fighters made a point to include.
  • Dropping the gun from the J-20 likely means its not useful as a dogfighter, and that many older US jets could defeat it in head-on close range fights.
  • But the lack of gun also indicates a new focus for the J-20 which may be more modern and relevant to real aerial combat than even the US’s F-22 and F-35. 

China’s J-20 stealth fighter jet represents a massive milestone for Beijing’s armed forces and the first stealth aircraft ever fielded outside the US, but the impressive effort still falls noticeably short in some areas.

The J-20 doesn’t have a cannon, and represents the only entry into the world of fifth-generation fighters that skips the gun, which has seen 100 years of aerial combat. 

Enemy aircraft can’t jam a fighter jet’s gun. Flares and chaff will never fool a gun, which needs no radar. Bullets rip out of the gun already above the speed of sound and need not wait for rocket boosters to kick in.

Read more: The F-35 was once trounced by F-16s in dogfights, but it just proved it can out-turn older jets

While the F-22, the US’s fifth-generation stealth superiority fighter can hold just eight missiles, its 20mm rotary cannon holds 480 rounds it can expend in about five seconds of non-stop firing. 

The US’s other fifth-generation stealth jet, the F-35, has already used its cannon in combat missions in Afghanistan.

But not every jet needs a gun, and not every jet needs to dogfight.

The J-20 doesn’t even consider dogfights

f 35b gun podDane Wiedmann / Lockheed Martin

The J-20’s lack of a gun shows that the "Chinese recognize that being in a dogfight is not a mission that they’re building for," retired US Marine Corps Lt. Col. David Berke, a former F-22 pilot and F-35B squadron commander, told Business Insider. 

"They probably want to avoid a dogfight at all costs," he continued. 

Business Insider previously spoke to air combat experts who said that the J-20 likely couldn’t compete with even older US jets like the F-15 in head-on dogfights, but that the J-20 likely didn’t need to.

Read more: China revealed the J-20 stealth fighter’s mission — and even the F-15 could likely wreck it

The Chinese jet, with powerful sensors, long-range missiles, and a stealth design, poses a serious threat to US Air Force refueling, early warning, and other support planes. Tactically, beating back these logistical planes with J-20s could allow China to keep the US operating at an arms length in a conflict.

But increasingly, it looks like the J-20 would lose handily to US fighter jets in outright combat, and that may be the point.

According to Berke, guns only work to around 800 feet to score aerial kills. 

"I’d rather have a missile that’s good to 800 feet that goes out to 20 miles than a gun that goes to 800 feet and closer but nothing else. … Once you start getting outside of 1,000 feet, you can start using missiles," said Berke. 

Because the J-20 wasn’t meant as a close-in brawler, the Chinese ditched it. This will save room and weight on board the jet to allow for other technologies.

Read more: The real purpose behind China’s mysterious J-20 combat jet

Also, the mission of the gun in air-to-air combat may be disappearing. 

A-10 WarthogDVIDS

The US started building the F-22 in the 1990s with a hangover from combat losses to air-to-air guns in Vietnam after fielding jets without guns and relying solely on missiles. The F-35 includes a gun because it has a broad set of missions which include close air support and air-to-ground fires. 

"In air-to-air, the cannon serves one very specific and limited purpose only useful in a very predictable phase of flight, which is a dogfight," said Berke. 

"The Chinese probably recognize that [dogfights are] not where they want the airframe to be and that’s not the investment they want to make," he continued.

Read more: Trump’s new Pentagon chief reportedly hates the F-35 — here’s what the US could have made instead

"Utilizing a gun against a highly maneuverable platform is an incredibly challenging task," Berke said. In World War II, propeller-driven planes frequently engaged in turning fights where they attempted to get behind each other and let the guns rip and bombers flew with turret gunners covering the whole compass. 

But today’s F-22s, J-20s, Su-35s, and other highly maneuverable jets give the guns an "extremely limited use" in combat, according to Berke. 

Berke pointed out that the US likely has not scored an air-to-air guns kill in decades.

A Business Insider review found that the last time a US plane shot down an enemy aircraft with guns, it was likely the Cold War-era tank buster the A-10 that downed an Iraqi helicopter in 1991 — hardly applicable to the world of fifth-generation fighter aircraft. 

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Alphabet’s X moonshot factory just hired a tech veteran to help shepherd a ‘new generation’ of bold bets (GOOGL, GOOG)

Wendy Tan WhiteWendy Tan White

  • Alphabet’s moonshot division, "X," has hired UK tech-veteran Wendy Tan White as its vice president on the leadership team. 
  • "We’re delighted [White will] be bringing [her] expertise to the moonshot factory and helping to bring a new generation of moonshots into the world," said X CEO Astro Teller. 
  • A company spokesperson for X did not specify which projects White would initially focus on, but did say that her position will be a new role for the company. 

Alphabet‘s moonshot factory, known as "X" (formerly Google X), is adding a new member to its leadership.

Wendy Tan White — formerly an advisor at the early-stage UK tech fund BGF Ventures — will be brought on as X’s vice president on the leadership team and will be "managing, mentoring and supporting a range of teams across X," the company announced Tuesday.

The 25-year tech veteran also co-founded the website builder Moonfruit before it was acquired in 2012 for $34 million. 

"We’re delighted [White will] be bringing [her] expertise to the moonshot factory and helping to bring a new generation of moonshots into the world," X CEO Astro Teller told Business Insider in a statement.

X is home to a number of ambitious ventures including giant balloons that beam internet (Project Loon) and autonomous delivery drones that drop burritos and other goods onto front doorsteps (Project Wing).

Read more: Alphabet’s drone delivery company is testing a quieter delivery drone after its original model annoyed townspeople and their dogs

Some moonshot projects inevitably fail, like Project Foghorn, which aimed at creating an alternative, less pollutant fuel for transport vehicles. While others, like the self-driving car initiative Waymo, "graduate" and become their own companies under the Alphabet umbrella. 

A company spokesperson for X did not specify with Business Insider regarding which projects White would initially focus on, but did say that her position will be a new role for the company. 

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California is the 6th state to ban car insurance companies from using gender to determine rates, and teen boys could benefit the most

teenage boy car insuranceMichael Heim/EyeEm/Getty Images

  • California is the sixth state to ban car insurance companies from determining auto rates based on gender, according to The New York Times.
  • While it could equalize rates for both genders, teen boys are expected to benefit the most with an average 5% decrease in their auto rates.
  • Auto rates are determined by a variety of factors, including safety records, driving experience, your career, your vehicle’s safety features, and the cost to repair or replace the vehicle.

California has become the sixth state to ban car insurance companies from using gender to determine rates, reported Ann Carrns of The New York Times

The move is an attempt to focus on factors that drivers can control, like their driving record, and to prevent unfair and inconsistent gender influences in pricing — some car insurers determined that girls were more high-risk drivers than boys, while others deemed the opposite to be true, Carrns reported.

Hawaii, Massachusetts, Montana, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania have also banned using gender to set rates.

In California, it looks like one gender will benefit the most from this change in law: teen boys.

"Removing the gender factor could in effect equalize rates for inexperienced drivers: Younger men, who have typically paid higher rates, on average might see declines, while younger women could see increases," Carrns wrote.

"In an economic analysis of the change, the Insurance Department estimated that female drivers with three or fewer years of driving experience were expected to see the biggest impact, with rates going up 6% on average. Male drivers with similar driving experience could have a corresponding decrease of about 5%."

The analysis was based on 17 companies that comprised roughly 66% of the state’s consumer car insurance market. Carrns noted that actual rates could vary depending on the individual and their chosen insurance company and coverage plan. Insurers will have to submit for review new "gender-neutral" plans by July, Carrns wrote.

Currently, the national average for annual car insurance premiums is $1,365, according to an analysis by insurance information website That’s around $113 a month. California exceeds that average, with an annual premium of $1,731 or monthly premium of nearly $145, Business Insider previously reported.

It currently requires car insurers to prioritize drivers’ safety records and amount of driving experience in determining auto rates, Carrns reported, but there are additional factors at play.

Read more: 5 surprising things your car insurance won’t cover

Your career can influence your car insurance payment by as much as nearly doubling it, according to figures from, Business Insider’s Lindsay Dodgson previously reported.

"Insurers use a complex algorithm to determine an individual’s premium, with profession making a big impact on the annual cost of an individual’s car insurance," Simon McCulloch, the director of insurance at, said.

"An assumption on the time of day a professional is likely to be on the road, plus the number of hours behind the wheel, may be taken into consideration, in addition to the insurer’s claims experience with each job category," McCulloch said.

Auto insurance companies also set rates based on a vehicle’s safety features and the cost to repair or replace the vehicle — but the color of the car doesn’t affect the rate, which is a common car insurance myth

Regardless of the price of your car insurance premium, it’s illegal to drive without it. And aside from keeping you covered in the event of an accident, insurance also has unexpected benefits — like covering damages caused by riots, space junk, and rodents, as well as paying for your pet’s injuries.

Read the full New York Times article here »

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SEE ALSO: California real estate is so expensive that families, retirees, and even tech workers are living in cars and vans

DON’T MISS: How much car insurance costs in all 50 states

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