If you’ve logged on to Fortnite over the last 24 hours, you’ve probably noticed that lobbies are overflowing with players who are wearing the same spooky costume. Veteran players know this as the Skull Trooper skin, a rare cosmetic that previously granted a high social status for Fortnite fans who donned it. Now, though, players are questioning whether or not the Skull Trooper skin is even special anymore. Over the last year, Fortnite players have built mythologies around its skins, with each costume implying something specific about its owner. A suit that makes players look like John Wick, for example, is the infamous calling card of the bone-headed players with a lust for killing. Eventually, many players buy a skin because they want to communicate something about themselves to the larger fan base. The concept of rarity adds an additional dimension here: some skins have only been available during specific seasons, events, or holidays, or perhaps are simply not sold very … [Read more...] about Fortnite’s Skull Trooper mania shows how Epic makes big money selling skins
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By Washington Post | PUBLISHED: September 25, 2018 at 8:37 am | UPDATED: September 25, 2018 at 8:42 am By Christopher Ingraham | The Washington Post Life insurance company John Hancock made a splash last week with the news that soon all of its policies would come bundled with the option to let the company track your fitness – via either a website and app, or through the use of a fitness tracker like an Apple Watch or Fitbit. The move underscores how fitness tracker data is an as-yet largely untapped gold mine for businesses – particularly in industries like insurance, whose financial bottom line directly depends on the health of their customers. John Hancock isn’t particularly shy about this: “The longer people live, the more money we make,” as the company’s CEO Brooks Tingle put it to the New York Times. The published research on Fitbits and similar devices, however, has yet to uncover a clear link between fitness tracking and fitness, to say … [Read more...] about An insurance company wants you to hand over your Fitbit data so it can make more money. Should you?
By Jeff Yip Published 12:00 am CDT, Saturday, September 22, 2018 )Besides long tread life, one of the most important tire traits consumers look for is safe, predictable handling and braking in wet, slippery conditions. The AAA, which found that cars on all-season tires worn to 4/32-in. on average took 87 feet more to stop than on new tires, is calling for earlier replacement of tires. “Slip a quarter into the tire tread grooves with Washington’s head facing down — if you can see the top of his head, it’s time to start shopping for new tires,” said John Nielsen, director of AAA automotive engineering and repair. (Photo courtesy of AAA) less )Besides long tread life, one of the most important tire traits consumers look for is safe, predictable handling and braking in wet, slippery conditions. The AAA, which found that cars on all-season tires worn ... more )Pondering how tire manufacturers have been able to lower rolling resistance, a plus … [Read more...] about Tire tune-ups: Proper attention, selection can save big money and grief
By Tara Deschamps The Canadian Press Fri., May 25, 2018 TORONTO—Kbre Hamilton has long worked as a model and a tavern server, but five years ago when he snagged a dresser at a garage sale and gave it a coat of Emperor’s Silk red paint and some new knobs, he stumbled onto a new way to make money. The 33-year-old opened Hamilton, Ont.-based custom furnishings business Fresh Furniture Co. — but he didn’t bother to set up a storefront to enter the market. Instead he grabbed a phone, snapped photos of his pieces and started selling directly on Facebook and Instagram. “I haven’t done a storefront because of the cost,” said Hamilton. “I did have a website, but far more people were engaged in the social media. That is where I get most of my clients and referrals from.” The entrepreneur’s decision to sell solely on social media is quickly being embraced by others who want to minimize costs, responsibilities and risk … [Read more...] about More entrepreneurs are selling products exclusively on social media — and making big bucks doing it
China’s aggressive territorial claims in the South China Sea are generally viewed in the context of a security threat to the freedom of navigation and political warfare against Asian nations with competing territorial claims, but a report published this week by the ISEAS Yusof Ishak Institute of Singapore reveals a massive cash grab as well. China’s state-controlled industries are planning to make a great deal of money from those disputed islands and reefs.Reuters summarized the report on Thursday: The work by academic Xue Gong and published by Singapore’s ISEAS Yusof Ishak Institute this week sheds light on a little-examined element of rising tensions across the vital trade route, showing extensive work by Chinese SOEs in developing infrastructure and tourism, as well as oil and gas, some in hotly disputed areas. Some experts and regional diplomats believe the strong commercial presence could further complicate any future regional solution should Beijing, which … [Read more...] about China’s State-Run Firms Make Big Money in the South China Sea