Business and Technology News

    Smart doorbells to watch over your front stoop


    Nest Hello Cnet rating: 4.0 stars out of 5 The good: The video doorbell looks great and works consistently well. Its optional facial recognition feature and...

    Nest Hello Cnet rating: 4.0 stars out of 5 The good: The video doorbell looks great and works consistently well. Its optional facial recognition feature and advanced integrations with the Nest Cam IQ Indoor and Google Home speakers set it above the rest. The bad: A seemingly unnecessary “chime connector” accessory comes with your purchase and is a required part of the installation for “power management” purposes whether you have a manual or a digital doorbell chime. There’s no free video clip storage.

    Big Tech is spending big in a decidedly old-school way


    Silicon Valley’s going old school. As tech companies like Facebook and Google vacuum up billions of dollars in online advertising, they’re pouring their own marketing dollars into billboards and other forms of outdoor signage....

    Silicon Valley’s going old school. As tech companies like Facebook and Google vacuum up billions of dollars in online advertising, they’re pouring their own marketing dollars into billboards and other forms of outdoor signage. That’s driving growth in one of the oldest forms of marketing and is one reason why the category is the only traditional channel expected to grow this year. Facebook recently ran an outdoor campaign to promote its new approach to user safety and privacy. Music-streaming pioneer Spotify Technology SA teamed up with the Brooklyn Museum to honor music icon David Bowie and promote the free version of the company’s app in subway advertising. And semiconductor maker Intel Corp.

    From Elon Musk interview: ‘not on weed’ and the ‘worst is yet to come’


    Tesla is not considering hiring a second in command, CEO Elon Musk said in wide-ranging comments to the New York Times. Musk’s remarks during the hourlong interview came despite long-running efforts by the company to recruit a chief...

    Tesla is not considering hiring a second in command, CEO Elon Musk said in wide-ranging comments to the New York Times. Musk’s remarks during the hourlong interview came despite long-running efforts by the company to recruit a chief operating officer who could assume some of his day-to-day responsibilities. He also discussed the extraordinary demands of running Tesla and the profound effect it has had on his personal life. “To the best of my knowledge,” Musk said Thursday, there was “no active search right now.” People familiar with the matter, however, said that executives are looking for a No. 2 executive, and one person said the hunt has intensified in recent weeks.

    A rising concern? After straws, balloons get more scrutiny


    NEW YORK — Now that plastic straws may be headed for extinction, could Americans’ love of balloons be deflated? The joyous celebration of releasing balloons into the air has long bothered environmentalists, who say the pieces that...

    NEW YORK — Now that plastic straws may be headed for extinction, could Americans’ love of balloons be deflated? The joyous celebration of releasing balloons into the air has long bothered environmentalists, who say the pieces that fall back to earth can be deadly to seabirds and turtles that eat them. So as companies vow to banish plastic straws, there are signs balloons will be among the products to get more scrutiny, even though they’re a very small part of environmental pollution. This year, college football powerhouse Clemson University is ending its tradition of releasing 10,000 balloons into the air before games, a move that’s part of its sustainability efforts.

    Ship traffic, August 20


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    Ship traffic, August 19


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    Ship traffic, August 18


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    Trump asks SEC to study quarterly earnings requirements for public firms


    Many leaders of public companies in the United States have complained about the negative aspects of filing quarterly financial reports, citing the time they consume and their excessive emphasis on short-term results. Those complaints...

    Many leaders of public companies in the United States have complained about the negative aspects of filing quarterly financial reports, citing the time they consume and their excessive emphasis on short-term results. Those complaints appear to have a receptive audience in the White House. In a tweet early Friday, President Trump wrote that he had directed the Securities and Exchange Commission to study moving corporate America from reporting earnings on a quarterly basis to doing so twice a year. “In speaking with some of the world’s top business leaders I asked what it is that would make business (jobs) even better in the U.S.

    A generation grows up in China without Google, Facebook or Twitter


    HONG KONG — Wei Dilong, 18, who lives in the southern Chinese city of Liuzhou, likes basketball, hip-hop music and Hollywood superhero movies. He plans to study chemistry in Canada when he goes to college in 2020. Wei is typical of...

    HONG KONG — Wei Dilong, 18, who lives in the southern Chinese city of Liuzhou, likes basketball, hip-hop music and Hollywood superhero movies. He plans to study chemistry in Canada when he goes to college in 2020. Wei is typical of Chinese teenagers in another way, too: He has never heard of Google or Twitter. He once heard of Facebook, though. It is “maybe like Baidu?” he asked one recent afternoon, referring to China’s dominant search engine. A generation of Chinese is coming of age with an internet that is distinctively different from the rest of the world.

    Google employees protest secret work on censored search engine for China


    Hundreds of Google employees, upset at the company’s decision to secretly build a censored version of its search engine for China, have signed a letter demanding more transparency to understand the ethical consequences of their work. ...

    Hundreds of Google employees, upset at the company’s decision to secretly build a censored version of its search engine for China, have signed a letter demanding more transparency to understand the ethical consequences of their work. In the letter, obtained by the New York Times, employees wrote that the project and Google’s apparent willingness to abide by China’s censorship requirements “raise urgent moral and ethical issues.” They added, “Currently we do not have the information required to make ethically-informed decisions about our work, our projects, and our employment.

    Chinese bombers are extremely active, and the Pentagon thinks they're training for strikes against US targets


    Chinese bombers are increasingly active and flying farther from China's shores, according to a Department of Defense report released Thursday. The Pentagon suspects that China might be training for strikes against US targets as well as sending a message...

    Chinese bombers are increasingly active and flying farther from China's shores, according to a Department of Defense report released Thursday. The Pentagon suspects that China might be training for strikes against US targets as well as sending a message to other regional actors that Chinese capabilities are improving. The US is watching Chinese activities carefully as China's power grows in what the Pentagon argues is an era of renewed "great power competition." Chinese bombers are much more active and operating farther from Chinese shores at an increased frequency, and the Pentagon thinks they are likely training for strikes on US targets, according to the 2018 China Military Power Report.

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    Twitter muzzles conspiracy theorist Alex Jones for a week


    NEW YORK — Twitter is joining other prominent tech companies in muzzling Alex Jones, the right-wing conspiracy theorist who’s used their services to spread false information. Twitter had been resisting the move despite public...

    NEW YORK — Twitter is joining other prominent tech companies in muzzling Alex Jones, the right-wing conspiracy theorist who’s used their services to spread false information. Twitter had been resisting the move despite public pressure, including some from its own employees. But the holdout lasted less than two weeks. “They seem to be reacting to the backlash they received when so many other companies in Silicon Valley ended up taking action,” said Keegan Hankes, research analyst for the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project, who focuses on far right extremist propaganda online. “It’s illustrative of a broader trend of reactive enforcement” by the companies, he added.

    Tesla directors do damage control after Elon Musk tweets


    Members of Tesla’s board are scrambling to control a chief executive who some directors think is out of control. Elon Musk, the Palo Alto company’s co-founder and CEO, stirred up a public storm by announcing on Twitter last week that...

    Members of Tesla’s board are scrambling to control a chief executive who some directors think is out of control. Elon Musk, the Palo Alto company’s co-founder and CEO, stirred up a public storm by announcing on Twitter last week that he wanted to turn Tesla into a private company. In recent days, according to people familiar with the matter, some of his fellow board members delivered a stern message: Stop tweeting. Musk hasn’t heeded that advice. He has continued to post messages on Twitter, publicly plotting the company’s strategy and in some cases making assertions of dubious accuracy. That has only added to the chaos engulfing the struggling company.

    Cisco gives bullish outlook helped by new products, software


    Cisco Systems gave a bullish forecast for the current quarter, boosted by corporate spending on upgrades to computer networks. Sales in the fiscal first quarter will grow 5 to 7 percent from the same period a year earlier, the San Jose...

    Cisco Systems gave a bullish forecast for the current quarter, boosted by corporate spending on upgrades to computer networks. Sales in the fiscal first quarter will grow 5 to 7 percent from the same period a year earlier, the San Jose company said Wednesday. That indicates sales of as much as $12.98 billion, compared with an average analyst estimate of $12.59 billion. Adjusted profit in the quarter ending in October will be 70 to 72 cents a share, the company said. Analysts predicted 69 cents. CEO Chuck Robbins is remaking Cisco into a provider of networking software and services.