• Quibi's streaming service app launches in app stores for pre-order
    TechCrunch

    Quibi's streaming service app launches in app stores for pre-order

    Quibi, the mobile-only streaming service from Jeffrey Katzenberg, is now open for pre-orders. The company declined to fully show off its app only a month ago during demos of its "TurnStyle" technology at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, but it appears the app is ready nonetheless. Quibi is listed on both Apple's App Store and Google Play, where it's been given a pre-order date of April 6, 2020 -- the date Quibi's new service goes live.

  • Google gobbling Fitbit is a major privacy risk, warns EU data protection advisor
    TechCrunch

    Google gobbling Fitbit is a major privacy risk, warns EU data protection advisor

    The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) has intervened to raise concerns about Google's plan to scoop up the health and activity data of millions of Fitbit users -- at a time when the company is under intense scrutiny over how extensively it tracks people online and for antitrust concerns. Google confirmed its plan to acquire Fitbit last November, saying it would pay $7.35 per share for the wearable maker in an all-cash deal that valued Fitbit, and therefore the activity, health, sleep and location data it can hold on its more than 28M active users, at ~$2.1 billion. Google, meanwhile, is in the process of dialling up its designs on the health space.

  • Wells Fargo close to settlements with DOJ, SEC over sales scandal - NYT
    Reuters

    Wells Fargo close to settlements with DOJ, SEC over sales scandal - NYT

    Last month, U.S. regulator said it had banned former Chief Executive John Stumpf from the banking industry and charged him and seven other former executives combined more than $58 million in civil penalties for their roles in the bank's multi-year sales practices scandal. The fourth largest U.S. lender has paid out more than $4 billion in fines and penalties since the 2016 revelation that the bank's sales practices encouraged employees to open potentially millions of unauthorized bank accounts to hit lofty sales targets.

  • Bloomberg

    Review: Can Samsung’s New Z Flip Convert iPhone Fans?

    (Bloomberg) -- Many iPhone users are wed to Apple Inc.’s ecosystem, but the latest Galaxy device from Samsung Electronics Co. may finally get them to turn a curious eye.The Galaxy Z Flip is Samsung’s second try at a compelling foldable device after last year’s Galaxy Fold. This sophomore effort costs a less astronomical $1,380, fits into much smaller pockets and opens and closes just like the flip handsets of years past.The reactions -- at least in Samsung’s home base of South Korea -- to the foldable Z Flip have been instant and infectious. For a gadget intended to attract attention, this rethinking of the Android smartphone is off to a solid start. The Flip was released on Valentine’s Day and sold out on the first day in several key markets. It’s out of stock now on Samsung’s website, which went down for two hours around midnight Friday after a limited edition designed by Thom Browne went on sale. Posts of creative Flip accessorization are gaining traction on Twitter and Instagram. In a world of me-too mobile devices, the Z Flip is eye-catching. But it’s also an absolute fingerprint magnet that requires tender use and care.“I’ve always stuck to the iPhone, but this is the most tempting moment to consider switching to Galaxy,” said Kyuhee Kang, a 29-year-old designer in Tokyo who’s been an Apple loyalist since the iPhone 4.Read more: Samsung Bets on Big Camera Upgrade in Galaxy S20, Unveils Z FlipThe 6.7-inch screen of the Galaxy Z Flip collapses into a palm-sized square akin to a Chanel compact -- and Samsung encourages that luxury association with high-gloss finishes and a limited edition in collaboration with designer Browne.Priced between the upgraded versions of Apple’s iPhone 11 Pro Max and 11 Pro, the Flip is a premium offering that Samsung wants to differentiate. There’s a certain nostalgic tug about answering calls by opening the gadget, then hanging up by snapping it shut. At the same time, it’s such a large device that if I were to operate it single-handedly every time I’d quickly develop thumb or wrist strain. Two hands are required for safety.The still-nascent foldables category has two huge hurdles to overcome: proving its durability and offering sufficient, not necessarily superlative, specs. Motorola’s Razr, a close competitor to Samsung’s Z Flip, is thought to be fragile by at least one reviewer and is a step behind on almost every front: the camera, battery life, processor and display are all underwhelming.Motorola’s $1,500 Razr Reboot Feels More Prototype Than PremiumTrue to its spec-obsessive pedigree, Samsung made sure the Z Flip is well stocked in most categories, though the Z Flip is noticeably behind on battery life. It has a large display but its battery is segmented in two because of the space requirements of its hinge, so it’s smaller. That hinge applies lessons learned from the Galaxy Fold and feels rigid and strong. One early Z Flip owner, however, managed to break his device’s display by merely flipping it open, and there’s been a controversy online about how easily the Flip’s ultra-thin glass gets scratched. Samsung says there’s a protective layer atop the glass and that’s what testers are able to scuff.The hinge enables the Z Flip to stand at a variety of angles much like a laptop. This has allowed me to record my four-month-old puppy’s first bathing moment and shoot time-lapses of snowy scenes without a tripod. Couples may like the split-screen mode that lets them message each other on one half of the screen while watching or playing something on the other. The phone also becomes its own stand for watching videos and taking selfies.Samsung still has room for improvement on the design of its foldables, which feature a chunky bezel that doesn’t sit flush with the display and thus prevents smooth swipes from the edge of the screen -- required by Samsung’s own user interface. The Z Flip also has an underwhelming mono speaker. Last but not least, the 1.1-inch front display is too small to show anything more useful than an icon signifying the type of notification received.Will iPhone fans end up abandoning their iMessages and Apple Music playlists? Probably not that many for this Flip generation, as the balance between price, benefits and compromises still has a way to go. But Samsung has crafted the most refined and fully featured foldable device to date. It won’t move the entire market just yet, but it’s stirring the interest that may yet make the foldable category a success.(Updates with Samsung website outage in the third paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Sohee Kim in Seoul at skim847@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at echan273@bloomberg.net, Vlad SavovFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    Trump Ads Will Take Over YouTube’s Homepage on Election Day

    (Bloomberg) -- In the immediate run up to the U.S. presidential election and on Election Day, the homepage of YouTube is set to advertise just one candidate: Donald Trump.The president’s re-election campaign purchased the coveted advertising space atop the country’s most-visited video website for early November, said two people with knowledge of the transaction. The deal ensures Trump will be featured prominently in the key days when voters across the country prepare to head to the polls Nov. 3.While the bulk of digital ad spending typically focuses on targeting specific messages to certain audiences, the top spot on YouTube is more akin to a Super Bowl TV ad. About three-quarters of U.S. adults say they use YouTube, exceeding the reach of even Facebook, according to the Pew Research Center.Ads on the YouTube masthead—as the video on the top of the homepage is known—generally run for an entire day. The exact duration of Trump’s ad buy and financial details were unclear, but estimates for the space range from hundreds of thousands of dollars to more than $1 million a day.YouTube, owned by Alphabet Inc.’s Google, lets advertisers target users based on a variety of factors, though it recently limited those options for political content. The Trump campaign bought the digital real estate nationwide, one of the people familiar with the deal said, both of whom asked not to be identified because they weren’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly.YouTube declined to comment on the deal but said it’s common for political advertisers to purchase masthead ads. After buying an ad, candidates can choose to surrender the space or restrict it to certain regions, a spokeswoman for the company said. “In the past, campaigns, PACs, and other political groups have run various types of ads leading up to Election Day,” she wrote in an email. “All advertisers follow the same process and are welcome to purchase the masthead space as long as their ads comply with our policies.” A spokesman for the Trump campaign didn’t respond to requests for comment.The move is likely to reinforce a feeling among many political analysts that Trump’s embrace of digital advertising gives him a distinct advantage over his Democratic rivals. The Trump campaign could spend as much as $500 million on digital ads and strategies, Brad Parscale, the president’s campaign manager, has said.In 2012, President Barack Obama’s campaign bought the YouTube masthead for Election Day before Mitt Romney had even secured the Republican nomination, according to Teddy Goff, Obama’s former digital director. “This gets to a structural problem inherent in having a contested primary against an incumbent,” said Goff, now co-founder of Precision Strategies, a consulting and marketing firm. Trump and Hillary Clinton each ran masthead ads at various times in 2016. Trump spent more money online that year than Clinton and continues to outspend most Democratic rivals now. A major exception is Michael Bloomberg, whose campaign has spent $36.9 million on Google ads, according to statistics released by Google. That’s double what Trump has spent with the company. Both Trump and Bloomberg ran YouTube masthead ads last year. (Bloomberg is the founder and owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.)To advertise on the masthead this far in advance, advertisers work directly with Google sales representatives, rather than the automated systems through which many digital ads are bought and sold.Online political advertising in the current election cycle will total $1.34 billion, more than double the levels of the last presidential election, according to EMarketer. The research firm estimates that digital spending will account for 19% of all political advertising. Facebook Inc. is the favorite platform of political campaigns, and its lenient policies have been a subject of controversy. The social network allows politicians to make false claims in their ads, whereas Google does not. Facebook offers far more granularity for campaigns to target people who fit a specific profile.After Google limited campaigns’ abilities to use demographic targeting last November, some at the company have debated going further. Google has bristled at repeated accusations of political bias, particularly from Trump and other Republicans. One potential policy discussed inside Google was to disallow masthead ads on Election Day in favor of a nonpartisan banner reminding Americans to vote, said a person with knowledge of the deliberations. Ultimately, Google decided to keep its standard practice in place.To contact the authors of this story: Mark Bergen in San Francisco at mbergen10@bloomberg.netJoshua Brustein in New York at jbrustein@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Milian at mmilian@bloomberg.net, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Oilprice.com

    Tesla’s Secret Weapon In The EV Revolution

    China is not only the world’s top supplier of battery metals, but also the world’s top processor, and that means the country is vital to the electric vehicle revolution

  • Thomson Reuters StreetEvents

    Edited Transcript of SAM earnings conference call or presentation 19-Feb-20 10:00pm GMT

    Q4 2019 Boston Beer Company Inc Earnings Call

  • Metro Air Park drawing project interest for about 600 acres combined
    American City Business Journals

    Metro Air Park drawing project interest for about 600 acres combined

    As much as a third of the land in Metro Air Park is drawing interest for development projects, according to Sacramento County’s economic development director.

  • Coronavirus prompts two tech behemoths to pull out of S.F. Game Developers Conference
    American City Business Journals

    Coronavirus prompts two tech behemoths to pull out of S.F. Game Developers Conference

    The GDC cancellations come on the heels of IBM pulling its Platinum Sponsorship from the massive RSA cybersecurity convention at Moscone.

  • These Are The 5 Best Stocks To Buy And Watch Now
    Investor's Business Daily

    These Are The 5 Best Stocks To Buy And Watch Now

    Buying the right stocks at the right time is key to investing. Check out Amazon, Domino's Pizza, Progyny, UnitedHealth and gold miner ETF GDX.

  • Some Oracle Employees Stop Work in Protest of Larry Ellison’s Politics
    Bloomberg

    Some Oracle Employees Stop Work in Protest of Larry Ellison’s Politics

    (Bloomberg) -- While a wave of employee activism marked by walk-outs and protests has rippled through Silicon Valley the past few years, Oracle Corp. glided along unscathed.Now, a symbol of tech’s old guard is facing the stirrings of a worker uprising as well. People left their desks Thursday at Oracle offices around the world to protest Chairman Larry Ellison’s fundraiser a day earlier for President Donald Trump, according to people familiar with the matter. The protest, called No Ethics/No Work, involved about 300 employees walking out of their offices or stopping work at remote locations at noon local time and devoting the rest of the day to volunteering or civic engagement, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified for fear of retribution.Ellison drew employee ire that most didn’t know existed at Oracle. News of the fundraiser for Trump’s re-election campaign at Ellison’s home in Rancho Mirage, California, spurred a petition at Change.org from some of the company’s 136,000 employees. The workers argued the chairman’s public support for Trump violated Oracle’s diversity, inclusion and ethics policies, and harmed the image of the world’s second-largest software maker.The petition had more than 8,000 signatures as of Thursday afternoon, though it was open to the public and anyone could sign it. Organizers demanded that Oracle and Ellison give money to support a humanitarian cause such as climate change, denounce the Trump administration and commit to diversifying the company’s board.Employees at Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Amazon.com Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Salesforce.com Inc. started mobilizing more than two years ago over a variety of issues, including law enforcement and military contracts, the gender pay gap and the treatment of contract workers.Thursday’s activism at Oracle, a database stalwart founded in 1977, showed cultural differences from the younger companies like Google. Some Oracle workers who participated in the “log off” used vacation time for the protest, the people said. Many had asked the company’s human resources officials whether they would be targeted for participating and didn’t receive a response before the protest, so they took the precaution of participating on their own time, the people said.Others who supported the action, but were leery about the company’s potential response, chose to donate money to charitable groups that oppose Trump administration policies rather than leave work, the people said.Some employees received a warning Thursday when trying to access the protest organizers’ website from a work computer: “Access to this site may not be permitted by the Oracle Acceptable Use Policy. However, if user is authorized and has legitimate business reason to access the requested site, then click below to access. Your access will be logged.”Oracle, however, said the message was an error that was corrected.“The site was not intentionally blocked by Oracle,” said spokeswoman Deborah Hellinger. “It was temporarily blocked by a ‘false positive’ from our McAfee network security and anti-virus software. Once we were notified by employees of this issue, our security team conducted a review, determined that there was no actual security threat, and then whitelisted the site.”Organizers said the protest participation at Oracle’s headquarters in Redwood City, California, seemed more muted than in other locations, such as New York City and Austin, Texas, which have more young workers.The organizers hope Thursday’s action is the first effort to voice concerns about the company’s policies, and employees will continue to feel motivated to speak out, one of the people said.To contact the reporter on this story: Nico Grant in San Francisco at ngrant20@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, Andrew Pollack, Mark MilianFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Tesla Gets Go-Ahead to Resume Clearing Forest in Germany
    Bloomberg

    Tesla Gets Go-Ahead to Resume Clearing Forest in Germany

    (Bloomberg) -- Tesla Inc. has overcome a legal roadblock standing in the way of Elon Musk’s plan to build an electric-car factory in Germany.A Berlin-Brandenburg court on Thursday ruled that Tesla can resume cutting down trees at a forest site in the small town of Gruenheide to make way for its first assembly plant in Europe. That puts the U.S. carmaker on track to start construction before the start of a crucial breeding period for local wildlife in March.The court found that local authorities didn’t violate laws when they allowed work on the factory to start, throwing out a complaint by Gruene Liga Brandenburg, an environmental group that claimed Tesla and local authorities were sidestepping regulations to rush the project.The decision is a boon to Tesla’s ambitious timetable to have the plant up and running by the middle of next year. The company plans to eventually produce as many as 500,000 cars a year at the site, employing 12,000 people and posing a serious challenge to Volkswagen AG, Daimler AG and BMW AG.Musk, Tesla’s chief executive officer, recently tried to ease local concerns about water usage at the plant, which would border a nature reserve.Local officials had warned that construction could be delayed by six to nine months if the forest isn’t cleared by mid-March. Tesla has already cut down two-thirds of the trees and should be able to fell the remainder in time.Brandenburg’s environment ministry this month gave Tesla a preliminary green light to start cutting down trees in an area equivalent to 100 soccer fields ahead of granting final approval. The court stopped the process with an injunction on Feb. 15. By late Thursday, the appeals court ruled that legal requirements to allow early construction were met.Gruene Liga has warned that Tesla’s plant could threaten the region’s water supply and overburden local transport infrastructure. The group argued that authorities shouldn’t have allowed the forest to start being cleared until after March 5, the deadline set for environmental groups to comment on the project.Local officials argue the site is an inferior pine forest planted to be harvested in the first place. The planned factory is of “great significance” to climate change prevention and one of the most important industrial investments in eastern Germany “in a long time,” Economy Minister Peter Altmaier told German publisher Funke Mediengruppe this week.The factory will be designed with “sustainability and the environment in mind,” Musk said last month on Twitter, adding Tesla will plant three new trees for every one cut. The company still needs final approval for the project from authorities in the state of Brandenburg.Tesla will also have to scare off or relocate wolves, bats, snakes, ants and lizards until construction is over. Under German regulations, the project must consider the breeding period for local wildlife in spring.(Updates with details of court ruling in seventh paragraph)To contact the reporters on this story: Karin Matussek in Berlin at kmatussek@bloomberg.net;Stefan Nicola in Berlin at snicola2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net, Craig Trudell, Chester DawsonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • GuruFocus.com

    US Indexes Close Lower Thursday

    S&P; 500 down 0.38% Continue reading...

  • 7 Most Popular Consumer Stocks Among Hedge Funds: New Rankings
    Insider Monkey

    7 Most Popular Consumer Stocks Among Hedge Funds: New Rankings

    In our experience one of the best tools for ordinary investors who are on the hunt for new ideas is 13F filings. Once every quarter, hedge funds with at least $100 million in total positions in publicly traded US stocks are required to disclose the number of shares and the total value of its positions […]

  • Social Capital chief's Virgin Galactic stake has tripled to over $1B this year
    American City Business Journals

    Social Capital chief's Virgin Galactic stake has tripled to over $1B this year

    Chamath Palihapitaya holds the stake after the Palo Alto-based blank-check company he created helped Richard Branson take his New Mexico-based space tourism company public last fall.

  • 4 Most Popular Healthcare Stocks Among Hedge Funds: Q4 Rankings
    Insider Monkey

    4 Most Popular Healthcare Stocks Among Hedge Funds: Q4 Rankings

    In our experience one of the best tools for ordinary investors who are on the hunt for new ideas is 13F filings. Once every quarter, hedge funds with at least $100 million in total positions in publicly traded US stocks are required to disclose the number of shares and the total value of its positions […]