Business and Technology News
Two years ago, even as its stock plummeted and takeover rumors swirled, Twitter was hatching a plan to become a force in live video. The San Francisco company’s goal was to help users discover “what’s happening now.” There were plenty of skeptics. Yet Twitter has carved out a niche in the noisy world of video content and now streams a range of programming, from “Game of Thrones” recaps to NFL highlights. It has attracted big advertisers, including Goldman Sachs and AT&T, that are buying video ads in the timeline or running brand campaigns next to live broadcasts.
Netflix, the global streaming giant that has dramatically changed the TV industry and clashed with movie theater owners, may be ready to move onto the big screen in a new and surprising way — by owning cinemas. The Los Gatos company has explored the idea of buying movie theaters in Los Angeles and New York that would allow it to screen its growing pipeline of feature films and documentaries, according to people familiar with the situation. Netflix executives considered acquiring Landmark Theatres, the circuit co-owned by Mark Cuban, but recently backed off the idea, said two people who spoke on condition of anonymity because the plans are private.
Higher mortgage rates are making the already challenging task of buying an affordable home even tougher for many Americans this spring. In metro areas such as Denver, buyers are rushing to close a deal before mortgage rates get too high. In Dallas, some are embracing longer commutes to find homes they can afford. And in places such as Los Angeles, where the number of homes for sale is down sharply from a year ago, sellers routinely receive multiple offers. The average weekly rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage edged up to 4.47 percent last week. While still historically low, the rate was 3.95 percent at the start of this year.
Apple iPhone X Cnet rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 The good: A great blend of handheld comfort and a big, gorgeous OLED screen. Rear telephoto camera outshoots the 8 Plus in low light, and the front camera snaps impressive selfies. Face ID generally works fine. The bad: New interface and no home button mean major adjustments, and key features such as the Control Center are harder to reach and use. It will take time for most apps to be optimized for notched screen. The all-glass design means a case and an insurance plan are musts. Shorter battery life than iPhone Plus models.
If you missed it ... In a week when Starbucks woke up and smelled the coffee, this also happened: •Facebook apparently is building a team to design its own semiconductors, adding to a trend among technology companies to supply themselves and lower their dependence on chipmakers such as Intel and Qualcomm. A job listing on the corporate website says Facebook is seeking a manager for the effort, so it sounds as if it’s in the very early stages. •A United Kingdom coffee house chain has pledged to recycle as many disposable cups as it sells by 2020, trying to appease public anxiety over the increasing levels of waste in the world’s oceans.
Advertisers are the lifeblood of Facebook, and the vast, personal reach of the social network has been a marketer’s dream. But now, some companies are taking a harder look at how they work with it and hunting for skeletons in their own data closets. Brands are on high alert for how they might be impacted as the social network navigates the fallout from revelations that a British data firm improperly harvested the personal information of up to 87 million of its users. With more people expressing concerns about privacy — and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appearing in front of Congress to answer questions on the subject — ad agencies are facing concerns on several fronts.
WASHINGTON — The Justice Department has opened an antitrust investigation into potential coordination by AT&T, Verizon and a telecommunications standards organization to hinder consumers from easily switching wireless carriers, according to six people with knowledge of the inquiry. In February, the Justice Department issued demands to AT&T, Verizon and the GSMA, a mobile industry standards-setting group, for information on potential collusion to thwart a technology known as eSIM, said two of the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the details are confidential. The eSIM technology lets people remotely switch wireless providers without having to insert a new SIM card into a device.
Is the world ready for cows with artificial intelligence? No time to ruminate on that because the moment has arrived, thanks to a Dutch company that has married two technologies — motion sensors and AI — with the aim of bringing the barnyard into the 21st century. The company, Connecterra, has brought its IDA system, or the Intelligent Dairy Farmer’s Assistant, to the United States after having piloted it in Europe for several years. IDA uses a motion-sensing device attached to a cow’s neck to transmit its movements to a program driven by AI.
Wells Fargo’s $1 billion fine won’t close the book on fallout from its consumer scandals. The nation’s third-largest bank submitted to an unprecedented order Friday that would give the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency the right to remove some of the lender’s executives or board members. That comes on top of the penalties Wells Fargo will pay to settle U.S. probes into mistreatment of consumers, the largest sanction of a U.S. bank under President Trump. The comptroller’s office said it “reserves the right to take additional supervisory action, including imposing business restrictions and making changes to executive officers or members of the bank’s board of directors.
Key fundraiser resigns in scandal Mari Ellen Loijens has resigned from the Silicon Valley Community Foundation amid allegations from former employees that she made demeaning and lewd comments in the workplace. Loijens had been a top executive at the Mountain View foundation, which said it will continue its investigation into the alleged misconduct. The allegations were reported in the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Party City adds Ramadan line For the first time, a major U.S.
(Bloomberg) -- Taxicab companies owned by Michael Cohen or family members just got hit with nearly $80,000 in new claims for unpaid taxes, according to records filed in New York. The bills show the declining fortunes of some companies linked to Cohen, the longtime personal lawyer to President Donald Trump. Cohen is under a federal criminal investigation into his business and financial dealings that broke into the open this month with FBI raids on his office and residences. All the parties involved are now jostling over how that evidence will be used. New York state filed tax liens in Manhattan this week against five companies owned by Cohen and members of his family, including Mad Dog Cab Corp., Martha Cab Corp., LAF Hacking Corp.
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Finance Pivotal sets offering price Pivotal Software, a San Francisco company controlled by Dell Technologies, is expected to begin trading Friday on the New York Stock Exchange after setting a price of $15 for its initial public offering of shares. The company had said in a Wednesday filing that it anticipated selling shares for a price between $14 and $16. Pivotal was created in 2013 when EMC, which merged with Dell in a 2016 deal worth $67 billion, and VMware, a Palo Alto subsidiary of EMC, formed a new entity that specializes in software and services for cloud computing.
Federal regulators are poised to impose a $1 billion penalty on Wells Fargo for a variety of alleged misdeeds, including forcing customers to buy auto insurance policies that they didn’t need, according to people briefed on the regulatory action. The expected penalty, levied by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, is likely to be announced Friday. It would mark the toughest action that the Trump administration has taken against a major bank. And it is the latest blow to the San Francisco bank, which for years was regarded as one of the country’s best-run banks but lately has been reeling from a string of self-inflicted crises.