TIME real estate

These Are the Cities With the Largest Homes

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Not so surprisingly, the cities with the largest homes are on the whole more sparsely populated than major urban cities in the U.S.

This post is in partnership with 24/7 Wall Street. The article below was originally published on 247WallSt.com.

American families tend to spend about a third of their annual income on housing. Yet, depending on their location and the level of the family’s income, home sizes can vary widely. Based on data from property listings website Realtor.com, the largest homes in the U.S. are located in the Provo-Orem, Utah metropolitan statistical area, with a median home containing nearly 2,000 square feet.

Areas with the largest median home sizes also had among the nation’s higher estimated median home prices. Homes in seven of the 10 urban areas had median prices of more than $200,000 as of November 2014. A typical home in Boulder, Colorado cost $380,000, the 14th highest estimated median home price among all large metro areas.

While it is not particularly surprising that larger homes cost more, in many spacious homes were also pricier by square foot. In seven of the 10 cities the median price per square foot of property was in the top half of all metro areas reviewed, at over $105.

Relatively high incomes are required to afford these larger homes. All of the areas with the largest homes had median household incomes well above the national figure of $52,250 in 2013. Residents of Boulder were particularly wealthy, with a median household income of more than $71,000 last year.

While large urban areas tend to be relatively densely populated, the areas with the largest homes are on the whole more sparsely populated. The population density was well below the average across all metro areas of 6,321 people per square mile in all of these areas. Raleigh, North Carolina had just over 1,850 residents per square mile, one of the lower densities nationwide. By contrast, the areas surrounding Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York City all had well over 10,000 people per square mile.

To identify the cities with the largest houses, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed median home square footage in the 200 largest core-based statistical area (CBSA) from Realtor.com. CBSAs are larger than most other geographies organized by the Census Bureau, and they often include several metropolitan areas. Median household income and educational attainment rates came from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Figures on population density are from the 2010 Census. Metropolitan area names and boundaries may have changed slightly since the data was collected. Unemployment rates came from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and are for October 2014.

These are the cities with the largest homes.

10. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas
> Median square feet: 1,828
> Median estimated price: $150,000 (88th lowest)
> Median household income: $57,398 (62nd highest)
> Unemployment rate: 4.8%

The living space of a typical house in the Dallas-Fort Worth area was 1,828 square feet, the 10th largest median home size in the nation. Most metro areas with the most spacious homes are relatively sparsely populated — perhaps freeing space for larger construction projects. Less 4,000 people lived in a square mile in Dallas in 2010, among the lower population densities. By contrast, the average metro area had 6,321 people per square mile. High incomes also likely explain the area’s large homes. A typical area household earned $57,398 last year, versus the national median household income of $52,250. This figure was also third highest among the 25 metro areas in Texas.

9. Austin-Round Rock, Texas
> Median square feet: 1,837
> Median estimated price: $207,000 (57th highest)
> Median household income: $61,750 (32nd highest)
> Unemployment rate: 4.0%

As in several other areas in Texas, Austin area residents seem to prefer larger homes compared to most Americans. A typical house in the region contained 1,837 square feet of living space. The median price of $207,000, however, was on the high end. The area is home to some of the state’s wealthiest and most well-educated residents. A typical household brought in $61,750 last year, the second-highest figure in for a metro area the state. Also, 41.5% of adults had attained at least a bachelor’s degree as of last year, one of the highest rates nationwide and the highest rate in Texas. The unemployment rate was also well below the national unemployment rate, at just 4.0%.

8. Fort Collins, CO
> Median square feet: 1,851
> Median estimated price: $272,000 (29th highest)
> Median household income: $59,052 (50th highest)
> Unemployment rate: 3.0%

The large homes in Fort Collins reflect the area’s prosperity. Just 3.0% of the area’s workforce was unemployed in October, far below the national rate. Area residents were also well-educated, with 43.3% having attained at least a bachelor’s degree as of 2013. The strong economy and well-educated populace helped raise incomes in the area, which in turn may have afforded residents the luxury of larger homes. A median home was quite spacious, with more than 1,850 square feet. Fort Collins’s was relatively sparsely populated, at just 2,712 residents per square mile in 2010. By comparison the average metro area had 6,321 people per square mile.

7. Greeley, CO
> Median square feet: 1,854
> Median estimated price: $224,000 (44th highest)
> Median household income: $58,611 (54th highest)
> Unemployment rate: 3.6%

Greeley had just 2,212 residents per square mile in 2010, one of the lower densities reviewed. Being a less crowded community may have helped encourage residents to build larger homes. Area homes were not only large, but also relatively expensive. The median home price in Greeley as of this past November was $224,000, among the higher values for a large metro area. Greeley’s home prices have increased at a faster rate than homes across the nation over the last five years. Residents were also relatively wealthy in 2013, with a household median income of $58,611.

For the rest of the list, please go to 24/7WallStreet.com.

TIME Autos

Over 2 Million Vehicles Recalled for Faulty Airbags

airbag recall
A Honda Motor Co. badge and airbag unit for the driver's seat are seen on the steering wheel of a sedan displayed in a showroom at the company's headquarters in Tokyo, Jan. 30, 2015. Kiyoshi Ota—Bloomberg/Getty Images

Toyota, Chrysler and Honda among the makes of car involved

More than 2 million Toyota, Chrysler and Honda vehicles are being recalled for faulty air bags that may inflate while the car is running.

The recall includes some Acura MDX, Dodge Viper, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Honda Odyssey, Pontiac Vibe, Toyota Corolla and Toyota Avalon models made in the early 2000s.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the recall is being implemented after carmakers’ original attempts to fix the defects didn’t work in some vehicles.

The agency says about 1 million Toyota and Honda vehicles involved in the new recalls are also subject to a separate recall related to defective Takata air bags that could deploy with enough force to cause injury or death.

The have been no reports of death or injuries related to the additional models being recalled.

READ MORE: Everything You Need to Know About Takata’s Air Bag Recall

TIME Companies

How Dennis Crowley Built Foursquare After Quitting Google

NikeFuel Forum
Foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley speaks during the NikeFuel Forum at Spring Studios on October 15, 2013 in New York City. Mike Lawrie—Getty Images

"If they’re going to turn it off, we’re going to build another one!”

Remember checking in to places on Foursquare? Of course you do. At the peak of its hype around 2012, the app boasted more than 20 million users and billions of check-ins. Everyone with an iPhone seemed to be using it to let their friends know what they were up to. You may have even been “mayor” of the brunch spot down the street or the rooftop bar downtown.

Though the check-in’s popularity has cooled, the company’s excitable co-founder and CEO Dennis Crowley is pushing ahead in the app’s bustling Manhattan headquarters, figuring out new ways to make money off its wealth of search data. Foursquare claims 55 million users worldwide, with a recent split in the app’s functions attracting a new generation of users.

Crowley, 38, sat down with TIME this week to talk about his long road from broke snowboarding instructor to chief of a multi-million dollar venture. Along the way, Crowley nurtured his addiction to connecting friends with hip places by constantly updating Foursquare’s early progenitor, Dodgeball, an app he first built in 2000. He told us about the ups and downs of entrepreneurship and continuing on even when a Palm Pilot startup lays you off and Google drops your pet project.

Here’s Crowley (edited and condensed for clarity)…

On building rickety websites in the 1990s

I was never able to take computer science or engineering classes, because I just wasn’t good enough at math to get into them. But I was able to put together these very basic static websites. I learned a lot of it just out of a book, a learn-to-make-a-website-in 30-days book.

In college, I’d go, “hey, we were at this party,” and I would take the pictures and put them online and write stories and send them to my friends that went to college elsewhere. Like, “Hey, this is what I did this weekend, isn’t it cool? It’s like a photo book, I’m sharing it!” It took me four hours to scan all these photos I took with a disposable camera and it cost me $20 to develop the film. But I was really into that.

On working at a cool Palm Pilot startup

I love this idea of making city guides: you make a piece of software, and it changes what people do when they leave work. You have your phone it tells you where to go and you can just make plans on the fly. [Startup] Vindigo was doing it for Palm Pilots. I was super excited about working there. They were building this stuff doing it across multiple cities and they were trying to generate advertising off of it.

This was around 2000 or so in New York. I would go to these bars on the Lower East Side [of Manhattan] and you would see people using Vindigo, with the Palm Pilot screen as this blue color, and you’d be like, “those guys are using the app that I made during the day.” And I got totally hooked on this, you can make things during the day and see people use them at night. That was my calling.

On being down and out in New York City after the Dot Com bubble burst

I turned 25, got laid off from Vindigo, and broke up with my girlfriend. It was the worst week ever. There were no other jobs to be had. I holed myself up in my apartment and we didn’t have anything to do.

We turned my Dodgeball service that we had, and I added this feature so you could say, “Hey, I’m here. Hey, I, Dennis, am here.” You have five friends on the service and it would send an email to everyone’s phone and everyone’s phone would ring, and because we don’t have jobs and we don’t have anything to do during the day, and everyone got the message at the same time.

It was like “Oh, Dennis is at Central Park, I guess we’ll all go to Central Park. Oh, Lucas is at Bleecker Street Bar, I guess we’ll all go there and watch the Yankees game.” And we built this very early Bat-Signal type of thing.

On going to grad school—because robots

I was in my beat up, after-9/11, no-job thing and my buddy said “come to this weird art thing at [New York University].” It was the end of the semester when everyone shows off stuff they’ve made, and I met this woman that was making a robot that followed another robot, that followed another robot, that followed the first robot. One of them drew a line, and the other would follow the line. One had a light, the other would follow the light. And sound, follow the sound.

I was like, “You made this? That’s so cool!” And she was like, “I don’t know, I just made it!” And I was like, “These are my people.”

On turning his grad school thesis into a Google acquisition

At NYU, we had to come up with a thesis project and [my friend] Alex Rainert said, “hey, why don’t you take that Dodgeball thing and dust it off now that Friendster is a thing?” We made it look a little like Friendster and tightened it up on mobile, and we learned a lot about geocoding and GPS. We launched it in 2004 for five cities. And it started getting some press.

I went out to San Francisco to speak at a conference. My friend there was like, “oh sh*t, I’m sorry I didn’t pick you up at the airport. Can you come to Google instead and just meet me here for lunch?” And then I went to Google and it was like, “just don’t tell anyone that you’re here, go hide behind the desk.” And people found out, “oh, one of the guys from Dodgeball is here,” and they said “hey, can you tell us how it works?”

And I spoke to one person, then two people and there were 10 people and eventually I went to this conversation when they basically said, “hey, you guys are doing some pretty cool stuff, we don’t really invest in companies but you guys should come and work here.”

And that’s how Dodgeball ended up getting acquired by Google. It was super, super serendipitous.

On reinventing Dodgeball as Foursquare in 2009 after quitting Google

We’re at a bar for my buddy’s birthday party, and someone read on their phone that, hey, Google just announced that they’re going to shut down the following three projects: Notebook, something else, and Dodgeball. And I’m like, “wait, they’re going to shut down Dodgeball? It’s still running!” Dodgeball was the reason half of the people ended up at that birthday. That’s how everyone in New York coordinated, all my friends.

And [my programmer friend] Naveen Selvadurai and I said, “If they’re going to turn it off, we’re going to build another one!” This was at the bar. And everyone was like, “Yeah! Build!” We’d sit around my kitchen table and just work 18 hours a day. Every day until the thing started getting a little stronger, and we launched in a couple other cities and it started getting some momentum.

[Venture capitalist] Charlie O’Donnell wrote this blog post, “I’ve seen the future of Yelp and it’s called Foursquare.” And it was like, people will check into this thing. Merchants want the check-ins, merchants give discounts, this company will generate money, and more people will check in. I read that and I thought, “This seems like a pretty good idea. That’s the story we should tell the investors.” That’s what we started doing.

We ended up raising some money from Union Square Ventures. And me and Naveen, we got our first $1,000 paycheck from Foursquare. Suddenly we had a three-person team, and we just started growing from there . . . and now here we are, five years later.

TIME Careers & Workplace

What Biggie Smalls’s Accountant Taught Me About Life

In this photo from Sept. 28, 2005, Bert Padell talks behind a tower of signed baseballs on his desk in his office in New York on Sept. 28, 2005.
Bert Padell talks behind a tower of signed baseballs on his desk in his office in New York on Sept. 28, 2005. Gregory Bull—AP

This is what the "Accountant to the Stars" had to say about life

Remember this song by 112 feat. B.I.G. and Mase, “Only You?” In Biggie’s first verse he says, “Room 112 where the players dwell. And, stash more cash than Bert Padell, inhale.” Padell was his accountant, I bet you didn’t know that. Apparently, they had a pretty tight bond as Padell was mentioned in more than one interview.

In 2010, I was helping build a little startup called Progenex (the company has since gone on to become the title sponsor of the Reebok Crossfit Games, and the number-one nutrition product across the entire sport of Crossfit, but that’s another post). We were in an aggressive capital raise to launch and scale the business. I flew out to New York to track down some “big money players” with the team.

Read more: Russell Simmons’ No. 1 Rule for Success

I met a long, odd list of interesting people during that trip. None of those people stood out to me as much as Padell.

Padell has a long list of a high profile clients. Referred to and known as “Accountant to the Stars,” Padell’s client list is a who’s who of every popular celebrity and athlete since the mid 1900s. It includes every player on the New York Yankees since the 1930s, Madonna, Robert DeNiro, Alicia Keys, Ja Rule, Faith Evans, Run DMC, Diddy, Wycleff Jean, Russell Simmons, Lou Panella, Carl Banks, Mary J. Blidge, Toni Braxton, the list goes on and on.

I remember walking into Padell’s Manhattan penthouse office and being utterly amazed. His office looked like a museum of celebrity memorabilia. Before sitting and discussing business he gave us a tour of his penthouse museum. He showed us Babe Ruth’s original signed contract with the Boston Red Sox. He showed us a baseball display of endless Joe Dimaggio baseballs, and explained that he had signed Joe Dimaggio’s signature so many times (seeing as he was his accountant), that his version of the signature was more authenticated than Dimaggio’s.

Read more: From Oprah to the Kardashians: 6 Celebrity-Inspired Business Lessons

He showed us pictures with every relevant celebrity and athlete since as far back as the 1930s, from the Rat Pack to Britney Spears. There were gold records signed by anyone and everyone in the music business, baseballs, posters, jerseys, all sorts of movie memorabilia. It was very impressive and showed us the vast range of high profile clientele Padell was accustomed to dealing with.

We had our meeting, and before leaving I remember turning to Padell and asking him a question. I was 25 at the time, and intrigued by what I considered to be his “wild success.” I asked him, “if there was one piece of advice you could give me about having a successful career, what would it be?” I’ll never forget what he said.

Figure out what you love, kid, and do it forever.

He then passed me a signed copy of his latest book, and we left. I haven’t seen him since then, but his advice has always stuck with me. It’s great advice, not just for business, but for life. Building a successful business from the ground up isn’t easy, and it takes hard work. He started off as the towel boy for the Yankees and over an entire lifetime became “Accountant to the Stars.”

I guess when you figure out what you love, it’s easy to do it forever. Maybe the hard part is figuring out what you love.

Read more: 3 Entrepreneurial Lessons to Learn From Kanye West

This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com.

TIME Careers & Workplace

Here’s How Working From Anywhere Is Changing Everything

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Soon enough, your 'office' may just be wherever you have an internet connection

Inc. logo

This post is in partnership with Inc., which offers useful advice, resources and insights to entrepreneurs and business owners. The article below was originally published at Inc.com.

When I tell people that I work from wherever I want, whether it be home or a friend’s office, I am generally met with a bit of scorn or a response that points out how “lucky” I am. Actually, I’m just getting to experience what millions of people are already living: the mobile office.

Office space has undergone marked changes in the past few decades, with wooden desks being replaced by customizable cubicle walls and desks, then shifting to many of the new open-office designs we see now. This evolution is continuing as businesses realize that mobile technology is keeping workers away from the office more than ever. Here are some of the ways we are seeing the change.

Shared desks.

Look around your workplace. If most of your desks are empty for the majority of the day, you’re likely wasting space. In 2015, businesses that still dedicate office space to each employee will begin questioning that practice as shared workspaces become more of a reality. In many instances, telecommuters can easily share a desk as long as an agreement is reached that they’ll come into the office on different days of the week or at different times during a given workday.

There is a name for the trend of sharing a desk: “hot desking.” In some offices, desk assignments are being removed completely, with employees allowed to select a workspace each day. These offices often combine such trendy features as standing desks, treadmill desks, or recliners and sofas to allow workers to find the setup most comfortable to their needs at a given time.

In my visits to startup offices (don’t forget the garages) around Austin, New York and the San Francisco Bay Area, I’ve seen all manner of various rooms that allow employees to accomplish any number of tasks, from private work, to conference calls. Many of these offices have an extra room with desks and couches where teams meet to accomplish tasks by themselves.

Shared space.

In 2015, more businesses than ever will be investing in shared office space. These options allow a small business to rent or lease space in a building that has other professionals who share amenities. Instead of one business being tasked with paying for break rooms, lobbies, and conference rooms, those areas can be shared with other businesses in the building to cut costs. In the case of an incubator, companies choose a similar “living situation,” often with the incubator officials getting a percentage of the company while donating space, amenities, and advice.

Small businesses also sometimes realize the benefits of upgrading to executive suites, where amenities like professional reception services, mail handling, access to photocopiers and fax machines, and fully-stocked kitchen areas can be included. For a growing business, these perks can make all the difference, creating a professional presence for a growing client base while also keeping monthly costs low.

Co-working spaces.

If your business finds the monthly cost of leased office space too budget-intrusive, co-working spaces may be the perfect option. Some businesses in established offices may even choose co-working spaces as an option for their traveling professionals. Co-working spaces are emerging across the world, providing desk space, access to professional amenities, and Wi-Fi access to professionals on a regular or as-needed basis. Instead of setting up a temporary office for the day at a caf, a traveler can contact the nearest co-working center and rent space for the day.

One of the best features of any co-working space is its access to support. Entrepreneurs and small business owners have access to classes, networking meetings, and other tools that wouldn’t be available to them in a traditional office environment. Additionally, professionals always have a conference area for holding meetings with clients and business partners.

Work where you are.

Perhaps the most notable change this year is something that has already begun. Thanks to increasing reliance on mobile devices, professionals can seamlessly transition from home to meetings to the office, with clients and customers never realizing the change in location. Phones can easily be routed to worker cell phones and cloud-based software and file storage means documents can be accessed from any device with an Internet connection.

As the “work anywhere” trend continues to grow, professionals will have more freedom than ever. They’ll no longer be chained to a desk eight hours a day, allowing them to be more productive and more reachable when they’re needed. In time, this will most likely reshape the definition of the office to include any location where an Internet connection is available.

TIME Super Bowl 2015

You Can Watch All the Best Super Bowl Ads Right Here, Right Now

Why wait?

The Super Bowl isn’t until Sunday night, but you don’t have to wait to watch one of the most enjoyable part of the event, a.k.a. the ads. Companies including Budweiser and T-Mobile have released their spots ahead of the game—and whether they star adorable puppies or Kim Kardashian, they are pretty entertaining. TIME has compiled a list of the Super Bowl ads and teasers that you can watch ahead of the game. Companies spent upwards of $4.5 million for a 30-second slot.

 

  • Always

    Procter & Gamble condensed an ad — which redefines the phrase “Like a Girl” to be inspiring rather than insulting — that went viral this summer to become its minute-long Super Bowl spot. This is Always’ first time advertising in the pricey big game.

    Ad agency: Leo Burnett

     

  • Anheuser-Busch, Bud Light

    Bud Light created a life-size Pac-Man game for its ad “Coin.” The maze came complete with technicolor ghosts and everything.

    Ad agency: Energy BBDO

  • Anheuser-Busch, Budweiser

    Budweiser’s ad about an adorable lost puppy is an emotional roller coaster. Set to an acoustic version of “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles), “Lost Dog” follows an 11 week old golden lab on a Homeward Bound-like adventure back home to his Clydesdale best friend.

    Ad agency: Anomaly

  • Avocados From Mexico

    Avocados might be considered a warm weather treat, but Avocados from Mexico decided that it was worth the $4.5 million fee to buy a 30-second spot to run in the end of the game’s first quarter. Spoiler alert: There’s a koala,

    Ad Agency: GSD&M

  • BMW

    Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel flashback to 1994, when they were wowed by the “Newfangled Idea” that was the internet from the comfort of another newfangled contraption: the BMW i3. The ad will play in the first quarter.

    Ad agency: KBS

  • Carnival Corp.

    The cruise line is letting viewers vote for what they want to serve as its first-ever Super Bowl ad. Here are some of the options:
    Ad agency: BBDO
  • Coca-Cola

    Coca-Cola said in a release that its ad will “tackle the pervasive negativity polluting social media feeds and comment threads across the Internet.” While the company hasn’t debuted the actual ad, it released a teaser starring Danica Patrick.

    Ad agency: Wieden & Kennedy

  • Doritos

    Doritos’ “Crash the Super Bowl” contest is back for its ninth — allowing people to get their own 30-second ad into the big game. Two ads will air during the broadcast.

  • Dove Men+Care

    Dove tries to redefine masculinity in its 30-second ad, called “Real Strength.”

    Ad agency: The Marketing Arm

  • Esurance

    The above teaser indicates that Esurance’s big game ad will star Lindsay Lohan, in her biggest role in years.

    Ad agency: Leo Burnett

  • GoDaddy

    The above ad was what GoDaddy had intended to play during the Super Bowl. That is, until the internet erupted with criticism saying that the company condones animal cruelty and puppy mills — the site is about a lost dog who gets sold on a GoDaddy-created website. The company pulled the spot.

    GoDaddy will still advertise, we just don’t know what the ad will be.

  • Kia

    James Bond — err — we mean Pierce Brosnan stars in the 60-second Super Bowl ad to promote the 2016 Kia Sorento.

    Ad agency: David & Goliath

  • Lexus

    Apparently driving a Lexus turns indoor parking structures into clubs — complete with writhing backup dancers. “Make Some Noise” will air in the first half of the game.

    Ad agency: Walton Isaacson

  • McDonald’s

    McDonald’s Super Bowl ad touts a strange new payment service: Rather than supply cash, customers can buy fries with “Lovin.'”

    Ad agency: Leo Burnett

  • Mercedes-Benz

    The luxury car company’s ad is a re-imagining of Aesop Fables’ story The Tortoise and the Hare. Spoiler alert: The tortoise drives a “hare”-raising Mercedes and wins.

    Ad agency: Merkley+Partners

  • Michael Hill

    Rather than panning to diamonds, the Australian jeweler uses its 30-second commercial to show close-ups of peoples’ faces as they cry, smile, and stare in awe. The spot is called “What Would You Do For Love?”

  • Mophie

    Mophie, which makes smartphone cases and battery packs, made an ad that imagines what would happen if God’s smartphone ran out of batters. (Answer: Only bad things).

    Ad agency: Deutsch LA

  • Nationwide

    Nationwide hasn’t released its ad yet, but it did roll out a teaser in which Mindy Kaling turns into a super hero.

    Ad agency: McKinney

  • Nissan

    This might be the year of Super Bowl dad-vertising. After 18-years staying out of the game, Nisan is back with an ad that it created with YouTubers who have posted videos about dads and their families. The company released the above teaser for its “With Dad” campaign.

    Ad agency: TBWA/Chiat/Day

  • No More

    The NFL donated a 30 second slot for a PSA about domestic violence. The commercial shows a woman pretending to order a pizza when she is really calling 911, informing them that her abuser is with her in the house.

    Ad agency: Grey

  • Skittles

    We don’t know the specifics, but Skittles’ teaser implies that Seahawks star Marshawn Lynch will have something to do with it.

    Ad agency: DDB Chicago

  • Snickers

    Danny Trejo and Steve Buschemi take on the roles of a lifetime when they play Marcia and Jan Brady in Snickers’ hilarious Super Bowl ad.

    Ad agency: BBDO

  • T-Mobile

    T-Mobile will run two commercials in the Super Bowl this year. One will star “Kim Kardashian, Famous Person” in a faux PSA about a very serious issue: un-used data.

    “Data you paid for that could be used to see my makeup, my backhand, my outfits, my vacations and my outfits,” Kardashian says, as she’s shown taking selfies. “Sadly all lost. Please, help save the data.”

    Ad agency: Publicis

  • Toyota

    Toyota will run two ads in the game. One will star U.S. Paralympic Team snowboarder Amy Purdy:

    The other will honor dads. Here’s a teaser:

     

  • Victoria’s Secret

    Unsurprisingly, the lingerie store’s ad will feature models wearing lingerie. Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio, and Candice Swanepoel star in the 30-second spot, which will run in the first quarter. It was created internally.

  • Weather Tech

    WeatherTech, which makes car mats, will be airing a Super Bowl ad for the second time. The 30-second commercial, which will be shown in the first half of the game, is called “America at Work.”

    Ad agency: Pinnacle Advertising

  • Wix.com

    The website development platform will air its ad in the fourth quarter of the game. The funny commercial imagines what football stars like Brett Favre and Terrell Owens will be up to when they retire from the NFL.

    We can’t wait for the premiere of Favre and Carve: Charcuterie.

    Ad agency: Committee LA

TIME privacy

What Uber Still Won’t Say About Your Data

Travis Kalanick, chief executive officer of Uber Technologies Inc., gestures as he speaks during the Institute of Directors (IOD) annual convention at the Royal Albert Hall in London, U.K., on Oct. 3, 2014.
Travis Kalanick, chief executive officer of Uber Technologies Inc., gestures as he speaks during the Institute of Directors (IOD) annual convention at the Royal Albert Hall in London, U.K., on Oct. 3, 2014. Chris Ratcliffe—Bloomberg/Getty Images

A privacy audit left some questions unanswered

Uber, the massively popular car-hailing company, has acquired a reputation for being overly cavalier about data privacy. Last November, Uber vice president Emil Michael suggested investigating journalists critical of Uber to find dirt in their “personal lives.” A venture capitalist said his private location data was broadcast to a large audience at a Chicago Uber launch party. And a Buzzfeed reporter in November was tracked on her way to an interview with New York’s top Uber executive.

Uber has since refocused its attention on riders’ privacy, rewording its data policy and hiring an outside attorney to conduct an investigation.

“At Uber, protecting the personal information of riders is a core responsibility and company value,” said Uber CEO Travis Kalanick in a Friday statement. “Delivering on that value means that privacy is woven into every facet of our business, from the design of new products to how we interact with riders, drivers and the public at large.”

The results of that audit were released Friday. The investigation, led by Harriet Pearson, a Washington, D.C. attorney at Hogan Lovells with an impressive history of arbitrating privacy and security issues, agreed with Kalanick’s own assessment: Uber has a strong privacy policy. Her six-week investigation at Uber involved reviewing hundreds of documents and interviewing Uber’s leadership. It ultimately resulted in an exculpatory report that Pearson called “comprehensive.”

“In our view, Uber has dedicated significantly more resources to privacy at this point in its age as a company given its sector and size than other companies that we’ve observed,” said Pearson in an interview with TIME. Uber is about six years old, it’s valued at more than $41 billion.

The saga has raised important questions about how private companies access our personal information, from our credit card data to our precise location. A lot of Uber’s data can be really useful: The company uses it to settle internal disputes, fix bugs or help cities plan traffic patterns, as it has done in Boston, for example.

But in the age of the Snowden National Security Agency revelations, consumers are particularly sensitive about how their personal information is used. Uber has promised to follow the report’s recommendations, such as expanding employee training and making its policies more transparent. But the audit still left some questions unanswered, according to Bruce Schneier a fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society.

“I saw nothing in their statements” to alleviate privacy concerns, says Schneier of Uber’s report. “Anytime you put this kind of surveillance power in peoples hand, they look up their enemies and friends… If the culture is not, ‘we don’t do this,’ than you do it.”

Here’s what we still want to know more about.

How many employees at Uber can see my personal data?

Uber says access is limited to employees who have a reason to need it, like those investigating fraud, answering user-driver inquiries or conducting trip analyses, said Katherine Tassi, Uber’s managing counsel for privacy, in an interview. But Tassi doesn’t have an exact figure.

“There’s no one particular number of employees that have access to user data,” she said.

How does Uber prevent its employees from looking at my data?

Uber gives employees access to customer data based on their responsibilities, while others are locked out through technical controls. “We noticed those kinds of controls at various levels” at Uber, said Pearson.

The report indicates Uber uses a combination of passwords, informal rules and employee monitoring to restrict access. In any case, according to Pearson, the company has a well-developed system for monitoring who is accessing your data and when.

So has Uber explained its recent privacy missteps?

Not fully. “We’re not going to comment on those specific instances that were in the press, but in general, we’re an organization of human beings and human beings make mistakes,” says Tassi. Pearson says her investigation only examined Uber’s privacy program and its structure, not particular incidents. So we don’t actually know how common it is for Uber employees to tap into your data, despite the company’s policy.

Do Uber employees ever get in trouble for doing fishy things with users’ data?

Uber won’t say. We know that Uber “disciplined” New York executive Josh Mohrer in November for tracking that Buzzfeed reporter’s ride, but we’re not sure how. Other than that, we don’t have any evidence Uber employees committed any other privacy violations.

Are Uber employees taught not to spy on me?

Uber talks informally with its employees about protecting customer data. Employees get “communications” from the senior team on handling riders’ data, Tassi said, and new Uber hires have to accept the company’s data access policy.

But when pressed, Uber didn’t say whether there’s a formal training program for employees, merely saying it was “in early stages of development.” That training “needs further formalization,” said Tassi.

TIME Smartphones

Why Microsoft Would Invest in an Android Startup

The Latest Mobile Apps At The App World Multi-Platform Developer Show
A logo for Google Inc.'s Android operating system is displayed on an advertising sign during the Apps World Multi-Platform Developer Show in London, U.K., on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013. Chris Ratcliffe—Bloomberg / Getty Images

The potential investment hints at a larger battle to grab real estate on your phone's homescreen

Microsoft is reportedly set to invest in a startup building its own version of the Google-owned Android mobile operating system.

Microsoft will hold a minority stake in Cyanogen, which rewrites Android’s open-source code and offers it as a souped-up alternative to Google’s version of the platform, the Wall Street Journal reports. Some 50 million devices currently run Cyanogen’s Android, while CEO Kirt McMaster says his army of 9,000 volunteer programmers are reshaping the software into a superior product.

“We’re going to take Android away from Google,” McMaster told the Journal.

That raises a few intriguing question about Microsoft’s investment — such as:

Why should Microsoft care about this startup?

Google currently dominates the mobile market. Roughly 84% of the world’s phones come pre-installed with Android, according to estimates from IDC. That means a vast majority of phones come pre-packaged with Google apps. Unbox the phone, and there they are the home screen. The user can always download rival apps, but who’s going to take the time to download Microsoft’s apps when Google’s are already there?

How did Google come to dominate the home screen?

Google gives away Android’s source code for free, even to rival device manufacturers. But the giveaway comes with a few strings attached. If device makers want access to Google’s most popular apps, such as Search and the Google Play store, they have historically had to sign agreements to place those apps “immediately adjacent” to the home screen, according to signed contracts reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Cyanogen’s version of Android, however, would release device makers from those contractual obligations. That would mean if Microsoft made hardware running Cyanogen’s Android, it would be freed up to put its on apps front and center.

Can’t Microsoft just puts its apps on the phones it already makes?

Sure, but Microsoft’s Windows Phones comprise only 3% of the global market. That’s why Microsoft has recently unleashed its flagship apps for iPhone and Android phones. Apple iPhone and iMac users have already downloaded Word, Powerpoint and Excel more than 80 million times to date. Now that its apps are in a polygamous relationship with rival devices, Microsoft might want to ensure they get front and center on all devices.

Will Google let that happen?

Probably not without a fight. The whole purpose of the free Android giveaway is to route as many users as possible to its search pages, where it gets millions of eyeballs on its advertisements — and Google’s ad business, especially on mobile, is already showing weaknesses.

TIME Sports

How Advertisers Conquered the Super Bowl

Super Bowl II - Green Bay Packers vs Oakland Raiders - January 14, 1968
Oakland Raiders quarterback Daryle Lamonica (3) rolls out of the pocket during Super Bowl II, a 33-14 loss to the Green Bay Packers on Jan. 14, 1968, at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Fla. Fred Roe—NFL/Getty Images

Advertisers are not just buying time between the plays, but also influence over the entire event

Perhaps the earliest recorded gripe about a Super Bowl commercial ran in TIME Magazine in 1968, shortly after 70 million Americans had tuned into Super Bowl II.

“One ‘promo’ actually ran right through a kickoff,” wrote TIME’s critic. “Paid commercials also got in the way—but it was easy to see why. Commercial time for the Super Bowl telecast sold for an unprecedented $150,000 a minute.”

Cue the gasps.

By 1977, commercial time sold for $250,000 a minute. It cleared the $1 million mark by 1985. Today the going rate is $9 million. At these astronomical sums, advertisers are not just buying time between the plays, but also influence over the entire event. TIME’s earliest Super Bowl critic may have spotted their clout early on, but really he had no idea what was to come.

Advertisers have nudged the game’s location, kick-off times and duration in their favor. Pontiac, Mich., might have seemed like an unlikely location for Super Bowl XVI in 1982. “The Midwestern city (pop. 76,000) is a near disaster area,” wrote a reporter for TIME, but the city had powerful backers; a “full roster of ad-firm chieftains” from Michigan’s automotive sector. They reminded the Super Bowl Committee of their “dedication” to the game, a not so subtle reference to their $1 billion outpouring of ad revenue. “It was like whacking a donkey with a two-by-four,” one Detroit-based ad executive told TIME. “It got their attention.”

By 1986, NBC would pay homage to advertisers with a moment of silence. Halfway through the pre-game show of Super Bowl XX, at 4 p.m., the talking heads would fall silent. “As a clock onscreen ticks off the seconds, viewers will be able to race to the refrigerator or bathroom without missing any of the action — or the commercials,” wrote TIME.

“The medium that once simply covered America’s favorite sports has virtually taken them over,” TIME had opined by 1990. By then, the fusion of sports and commerce was unmistakable. “As the money keeps growing, so does TV’s determination to get the most from its investment by orchestrating the show for maximum viewer appeal…Starting next season, pro football will add two more teams to the play-offs and, by the fall of 1992, two more weeks to the season. That will probably push the Super Bowl into February, which just happens to be a ratings ’sweeps’ period.”

Before long, the commercialization of the Super Bowl had become received wisdom, barely worth arguing. TIME’s writers turned their attention to the commercials themselves as cultural events. The classic Mac ad, in which a woman hurls a sledgehammer through a big screen TV broadcast of a barking dictator, “established the Super Bowl as the unofficial high holiday of capitalism,” wrote TIME’s TV critic James Poniewozik in 2000, “the launch pad for baroque, high-profile ads that today generate more excitement than the game.”

Commercials even launched careers and cottage industries. The original 1970’s choristers who sang Coca-Cola’s blockbuster anthem, ”I’d like to teach the world to sing,” for a $50 fee, reprised their roles at the 1990 Super Bowl. They brought their children in tow, and this time demanded residuals.

Spuds MacKenzie, Budweiser’s canine mascot, spawned a mini craze for bull terriers. Some specimens fetched prices upwards of $1,200. “Inquiries are up 75% at Jerry’s Perfect Pet Shop in Dallas,” TIME reported in 1987. “Customers in St. Louis are so bullish that Petland had to put the dogs on back order.”

TIME’s Jay Chiat imagined the future of advertising for Super Bowl LIV, in 2020, where advertising suffuses every inch of the screen. “The Microsoft Mustangs are playing the GM Generals at Cisco Stadium in a town called Ciscoville–formerly known as Philadelphia,” he wrote. “Corporations will pay big money for the right to digitize logos onto the T shirts of the fans in the stands.”

It may sound far-fetched, but then consider how far commercials have come since TIME’s original 1968 complaint that commercials “got in the way.” Two decades later Cincinnati Bengals coach Sam Wyche would urge his team, shortly before they took the field at Super Bowl XXIII, ”Go for that shaving-cream commercial you’ve always wanted.”

TIME Research

Why You’re Less Likely to Die in a Car Than Ever Before

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Heavy automobile traffic on the Harbor Freeway is viewed at sunset on Jan. 27, 2012 in Los Angeles. George Rose—Getty Images

'Motor vehicles are safer than they ever have been in the past'

The chances of dying in a car crash in a new vehicle have declined dramatically in recent years to their lowest point ever, according to a new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Improvements to vehicle safety technology since the mid-1980s saved 7,700 lives in the United States in 2012 alone, the study found.

“There’s all the bad news about recalls, which make it sound like vehicles are getting less safe,” says IIHS president Adrian Lund. “What these results show is that motor vehicles are safer than they ever have been in the past. This is a huge reduction of people dying as occupants of motor vehicles in crashes.”

The study, which looked at data on deaths in 2011 model year vehicles, found that no one died in nine vehicle models. The death rate per million registered vehicle years, a number that represents how many people died per the number of years a car is registered to be on the road, declined to 28 for 2011 model cars. That rate was 87 for cars made a decade earlier, Lund says.

The report attributed much of that improvement to changes in technology. Electronic stability control, for instance, has been incorporated into many vehicles and prevented deaths when vehicles roll over. The effect of the technology has been particularly noticeable in SUVs. Once among the most dangerous cars on the road, many SUVs are now among the safest vehicles. Six of the nine vehicles without a death were SUVs.

Lund says he anticipates that car safety will improve along with the introduction of new technology in the near future, but he also acknowledges that movements by governments and regulators to cut down on traffic deaths have the potential to reduce traffic deaths dramatically. In particular, Vision Zero—a movement adopted by various cities and countries aimed at eliminating such deaths—has the potential to save lives, he says.

“If we’re really going to get to zero, then we’re really going to need action on a lot of fronts,” he says. “We don’t have to wait just for vehicle technology to achieve Vision Zero.”

Nonetheless, Lund notes that car manufacturers are “closing in on their target” of making their cars free of death and serious injury.

The nine models that were fatality-free were Audi A4 (four-wheel drive), Honda Odyssey, Kia Sorento (two-wheel drive), the Lexus RX 350 (four-wheel drive), Mercedes-Benz GL-Class (four-wheel drive), Subaru Legacy (four-wheel drive), Toyota Highlander hybrid (four-wheel drive), Toyota Sequoia (four-wheel drive) and Volvo XC90 (four-wheel drive).

Three cars had more more than 100 deaths per million registered vehicle years: Kia Rio, Nissan Versa sedan and Hyundai Accent.

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