Business and Technology News

    Business News Roundup, Nov. 21


    Economy Yellen will leave Fed board Janet Yellen submitted her resignation from the Federal Reserve board to President Trump on Monday, announcing...

    Economy Yellen will leave Fed board Janet Yellen submitted her resignation from the Federal Reserve board to President Trump on Monday, announcing that she will leave when her successor is sworn in as Fed chairman. In a letter to the president, Yellen said she would do her “utmost” to ensure a smooth transition to Jerome Powell, who was tapped by Trump on Nov. 2 to become the next Fed leader after the president decided not to offer Yellen a second term.

    Marvell wants Cavium; free airport water; reserving a Santa visit


    Number of the day $6 billion That’s about how much Marvell Technology is bidding for San Jose’s Cavium in a cash-and-stock deal that would create a chipmaker to compete with Intel...

    Number of the day $6 billion That’s about how much Marvell Technology is bidding for San Jose’s Cavium in a cash-and-stock deal that would create a chipmaker to compete with Intel and other giants in the industry. Other chip companies have been trying to consolidate as well, so that they can better supply tech leaders like Apple, Google and Samsung. Last week, Qualcomm rejected an unsolicited, $103 billion buyout from Broadcom. Marvell is a Bermuda company with its U.S. headquarters in Santa Clara.

    What to know about the FCC’s upcoming plan to undo net neutrality rules


    The Federal Communications Commission this week is expected to reveal the latest details of its plan to roll back net neutrality regulations. The result could reshape the entire digital ecosystem by giving Internet providers more control over what their...

    The Federal Communications Commission this week is expected to reveal the latest details of its plan to roll back net neutrality regulations. The result could reshape the entire digital ecosystem by giving Internet providers more control over what their customers can see and access online and how quickly they can do it. Under current rules, broadband companies such as Verizon and Comcast must treat all websites and online services equally. Verizon, for instance, isn’t allowed to deliver content from Yahoo, which it owns, to consumers any faster than it delivers competing content from Google. It also isn’t permitted to actively slow down or block Google services.

    U.S. sues to block AT&T-Time Warner merger


    The U.S. Justice Department Monday sued to block AT&T’s proposed $85 billion purchase of Time Warner, saying the proposed combination is illegal and could stifle innovation in technology. “This merger would greatly harm American...

    The U.S. Justice Department Monday sued to block AT&T’s proposed $85 billion purchase of Time Warner, saying the proposed combination is illegal and could stifle innovation in technology. “This merger would greatly harm American consumers,” Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the department’s Antitrust Division said Monday in a statement. “It would mean higher monthly television bills and fewer of the new, emerging innovative options that consumers are beginning to enjoy.” But the lawsuit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Washington, immediately raises questions about whether President Trump is using the nation’s top law enforcement agency to settle scores with perceived opponents.

    Yale professors race Google and IBM to first quantum computer


    Robert Schoelkopf is at the forefront of a worldwide effort to build the world’s first quantum computer. Such a machine, if it can be built, would use the seemingly magical principles of quantum mechanics to solve problems today’s computers never...

    Robert Schoelkopf is at the forefront of a worldwide effort to build the world’s first quantum computer. Such a machine, if it can be built, would use the seemingly magical principles of quantum mechanics to solve problems today’s computers never could. Google, IBM, and Intel are using a method pioneered by Schoelkopf, a Yale University professor, and a handful of other physicists as they race to build a machine that could significantly accelerate everything from drug discovery to artificial intelligence. So does a Silicon Valley startup called Rigetti Computing.

    Billionaire Steyer's impeach Trump ads light up Times Square


    (Bloomberg) -- Tom Steyer, the billionaire environmentalist and Democratic mega donor, said he’s heading to the heart of New York City for the next step of his $20 million ad campaign urging the impeachment of President Donald Trump. “We’re putting...

    (Bloomberg) -- Tom Steyer, the billionaire environmentalist and Democratic mega donor, said he’s heading to the heart of New York City for the next step of his $20 million ad campaign urging the impeachment of President Donald Trump. “We’re putting a couple of large billboards in Times Square calling for the impeachment of the president,” Steyer said Monday in an interview. “We legitimately feel that this is the huge issue in front of the American people that no one is standing up for what the overwhelming number of Americans think.” The digital billboards, unveiled Monday, will be on display ten minutes every hour through New Years’ Eve, according to Need to Impeach, the political group founded by Steyer.

    Protecting data with these new gadgets


    Being connected isn’t always a good thing. Sometimes even those who love tech want to step away from it for a second, or at least keep it in check. If you know someone who values privacy or worries about the security of their data, there are gadgets...

    Being connected isn’t always a good thing. Sometimes even those who love tech want to step away from it for a second, or at least keep it in check. If you know someone who values privacy or worries about the security of their data, there are gadgets and programs to help with that, too. Here are some tech products that help offer a little security and peace of mind in a seemingly insecure world. Silent Pocket: The world is full of signals these days, with the prevalence of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, RFID and other technologies that help us connect wirelessly. But sometimes you don’t want your device bombarded with radio waves — particularly if you’re looking to protect sensitive information.

    Owners of Chrysler’s newest minivan say engines suddenly shut off


    Sid Patel encountered the problem with his minivan while driving on a busy highway near San Francisco. Traveling at 70 mph, the new Chrysler Pacifica suddenly shut off. “It just died,” recalled Patel, a physician from Menlo Park....

    Sid Patel encountered the problem with his minivan while driving on a busy highway near San Francisco. Traveling at 70 mph, the new Chrysler Pacifica suddenly shut off. “It just died,” recalled Patel, a physician from Menlo Park. “I had no electrical power, no power steering.” As the minivan slowed to a crawl, and other cars whizzed by, he edged over to get to the shoulder on the right. “A semi truck was coming, and he laid on the horn and swerved out and barely missed me,” Patel said. That experience two months ago was not an isolated occurrence.

    Best gift splurges under $250


    Sonos One Cnet rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 The good: The Sonos One integrates full-fledged Alexa voice control, just like an Amazon Echo speaker but with better...

    Sonos One Cnet rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 The good: The Sonos One integrates full-fledged Alexa voice control, just like an Amazon Echo speaker but with better sound quality. It offers most of Alexa’s smart home controls and its far-field microphone performs similarly to an Echo. The One works seamlessly as part of a Sonos multiroom system, and can pair with another One for stereo sound. In 2018 Sonos will add Google Assistant, and Apple AirPlay 2 support is coming too. The bad: The One costs twice as much as the new Echo. It cannot form a stereo pair with an existing Sonos Play:1.

    Amazon sellers brood as states come calling for taxes


    SEATTLE — Amazon and the tax collector are at it again. For years, the company and state governments scuffled over Amazon’s resistance to charging state sales tax, which helped keep prices low on its e-commerce site and angered...

    SEATTLE — Amazon and the tax collector are at it again. For years, the company and state governments scuffled over Amazon’s resistance to charging state sales tax, which helped keep prices low on its e-commerce site and angered politicians and other retailers. Eventually, Amazon began adding the tax in states across the country. But there was a loophole. Amazon added the tax only when the item came from its own inventory, not from the millions of independent merchants who sell products through Amazon’s website. Amazon left it up to those sellers — who account for half of all items sold on the site — to collect sales tax on their own.

    Plugging into the gig economy, from home with a headset


    DURHAM, N.C. — The gathering in a private dining room at a Mexican restaurant had the fervent energy of a megachurch service, or maybe an above-average “Oprah” episode — a mix of revival-style confession and extravagant empathy. There were souls...

    DURHAM, N.C. — The gathering in a private dining room at a Mexican restaurant had the fervent energy of a megachurch service, or maybe an above-average “Oprah” episode — a mix of revival-style confession and extravagant empathy. There were souls to be won. “By the end of the day, Kelly’s going to be an agent,” the group’s square-jawed leader said. “Kelly went through the process a while ago, then life happens, now she’s back. Her commitment to me that she made earlier, she looked me right in the eyes and told me she’s going to be an agent.” Paradise, for these pilgrims, lies at one end of a phone line.

    TED talks empire grapples with sexual harassment


    When Gretchen Carlson, a former Fox News anchor who now campaigns against sexual harassment, took the stage at a TED event this month, she described 2017 as a tipping point in the fight against workplace misconduct. But behind the...

    When Gretchen Carlson, a former Fox News anchor who now campaigns against sexual harassment, took the stage at a TED event this month, she described 2017 as a tipping point in the fight against workplace misconduct. But behind the scenes, TED owner Chris Anderson and other senior officials had been grappling with accusations for much of the year that their own conferences, famed for turning short speeches by leading figures into viral videos, had not been a safe place for women — and that the atmosphere of predatory male behavior was getting worse.

    Vancouver limits Airbnb in effort to combat housing crisis


    Trying to ease its severe housing shortage, Vancouver has moved to limit short-term rentals, a measure particularly targeting Airbnb. The new regulations, passed last week by the City Council, bar businesses from offering short-term...

    Trying to ease its severe housing shortage, Vancouver has moved to limit short-term rentals, a measure particularly targeting Airbnb. The new regulations, passed last week by the City Council, bar businesses from offering short-term rentals through Airbnb and similar services; individuals will be allowed to rent only their principal residences. Suites in basements, above garages or in coach houses can no longer be offered as short-term rentals. The city, the largest in British Columbia, is struggling with both exceptionally high housing prices and unusually low vacancy rates for apartments and houses. Officials hope the restrictions will free up more housing for long-term rentals.

    Trying out Google’s translating headphones


    Google has set out to make its mark on the headphone world with Pixel Buds — wireless headphones that can control your phone and claim to translate conversations. But how do they stack up? Google sent us a pair to review and find out. ...

    Google has set out to make its mark on the headphone world with Pixel Buds — wireless headphones that can control your phone and claim to translate conversations. But how do they stack up? Google sent us a pair to review and find out. The most important thing you should know about Pixel Buds is that their full features only work with Google’s newest smartphone, the Pixel 2. Though they’ll function with other phones, you must have the Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL (which, buyer beware, have had some early quality-control issues) to access the Pixel Buds’ marquee feature: real-time translation. To be honest, it’s not exactly real-time.

    Amazon or Walmart? Some retailers are choosing alliances


    Store chains feeling the upheaval in retail are making strategic alliances — and that can mean picking sides. Kohl’s shoppers can find Amazon devices at some stores, and return items they bought from the online retailer. Nike has...

    Store chains feeling the upheaval in retail are making strategic alliances — and that can mean picking sides. Kohl’s shoppers can find Amazon devices at some stores, and return items they bought from the online retailer. Nike has made some of its sneakers available through Amazon. The owner of Sears is selling Kenmore appliances on Amazon in some markets. And Best Buy is teaming up with Amazon for voice shopping. Meanwhile, Walmart, which has the most store locations, is assembling a coalition of its own: buying smaller online brands and becoming the highest-profile partner to Google in voice shopping.