Tech

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Amnesty International is seen next to director of Mujeres En Linea Luisa Kislinger, during a news conference in Caracas
FILE PHOTO: The logo of Amnesty International is seen next to director of Mujeres En Linea Luisa Kislinger, during a news conference to announce the results of an investigation into humans rights abuses committed in Venezuela during protests against President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela February 20, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Jass

March 21, 2019

LONDON (Reuters) – Amnesty International attacked the electric vehicle (EV) industry on Thursday for selling itself as environmentally friendly while producing many of its batteries using polluting fossil fuels and unethically sourced minerals.

Manufacturing batteries can be carbon intensive, while the extraction of minerals used in them has been linked to human rights violations such as child labor, a statement from the rights group said.

“Electric vehicles are key to shifting the motor industry away from fossil fuels, but they are currently not as ethical as some retailers would like us to believe,” it said, announcing the initiative at the Nordic Electric Vehicle Summit in Oslo.

Production of lithium-ion batteries for EVs is power intensive, and factories are concentrated in China, South Korea and Japan, where power generation is largely dependent on coal or other fossil fuels, Amnesty said.

Global automakers are investing billions of dollars to ramp up electric vehicle production. German giant Volkswagen for one plans to raise annual production of electric cars to 3 million by 2025, from 40,000 in 2018.

Amnesty demanded the EV industry come up with an ethical and clean battery within five years and in the meantime that carbon footprints be disclosed and supply chains of key minerals identified.

Last month, a letter seen by Reuters showed that 14 non-governmental organizations including Amnesty and Global Witness had opposed plans by the London Metal Exchange to ban cobalt tainted by human rights abuses.

Instead of banning the cobalt brands, the LME should work with firms that produce them to ensure responsible souring, they said.

(Reporting by Eric Onstad; Editing by Jan Harvey)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: An AT&T logo is seen at a AT&T building in New York City
FILE PHOTO: An AT&T logo is seen at a AT&T building in New York City, October 23, 2016. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith/File Photo

March 20, 2019

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – AT&T Inc Chief Executive Randall Stephenson said Wednesday that China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd is making it very difficult for European carriers to drop the company from its supply chain for next-generation 5G wireless service.

“If you have deployed Huawei as your 4G network, Huawei is not allowing interoperability to 5G — meaning if you are 4G, you are stuck with Huawei for 5G,” said Stephenson at a speech in Washington. “When the Europeans say we got a problem — that’s their problem. They really don’t have an option to go to somebody else.”

The United States has been pressuring other countries to drop Huawei from their networks. Stephenson said the U.S. government could do a better job explaining the security risks of Huawei. “The biggest risk is not that the Chinese government might listen in on our conversations or mine our data if we use their equipment,” Stephenson said.

Within a decade, 5G will drive all U.S. factories, utilities, refineries, traffic management and help underpin autonomous vehicles. “If that much of infrastructure will be attached to this kind of technology do we want to be cautious about who is the underlying company behind that technology. We damn well better be,” Stephenson said.

Huawei did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

The United States warns that next-generation 5G equipment, which some telecoms experts see as more vulnerable to attack than previous technology, could be exploited by the Chinese government for spying if supplied by Huawei.

Huawei has grown rapidly to become the world’s biggest maker of telecoms equipment and is embedded in the mobile networks and 5G plans of many European operators. It denies that its technology represents a security risk.

In the United States, 5G networks will largely be built by Nordic equipment makers Ericsson and Nokia , and Strayer said there were safer alternatives to Huawei.

The United States has also alleged Huawei violated its sanctions on Iran and stole intellectual property. No evidence of spying has been presented publicly even as scrutiny on Huawei has intensified, and several Western countries have restricted the firm’s access to their markets.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday Germany was not planning to exclude any one company from its 5G auction per se, but rather wanted bidders in the mobile spectrum auction to meet certain requirements.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

Source: OANN

The logo of U.S. memory chip maker MicronTechnology is pictured at their booth at an industrial fair in Frankfurt
The logo of U.S. memory chip maker MicronTechnology is pictured at their booth at an industrial fair in Frankfurt, Germany, July 14, 2015. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

March 20, 2019

(Reuters) – U.S. chipmaker Micron Technology Inc beat analysts’ estimates for quarterly revenue and profit on Wednesday, getting a lift from demand for its memory chips used in data centers.

The company’s shares, which have gained about 27 percent this year, were marginally higher in choppy after-market trading.

The results come against the backdrop of a glut in the global semiconductor industry that has been triggered by waning demand for smartphones.

Chipmakers are also reeling from a prolonged trade war between the United States and China, with Micron warning in September that U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods will weigh on its financial results for as much as a year.

Micron has been looking to weather the slowdown by investing more on its next generation chips, as well as reducing output.

Net income attributable to the company fell to $1.62 billion, or $1.42 per share, in the second quarter ended Feb. 28, from $3.31 billion, or $2.67 per share, a year earlier.

Revenue fell to $5.84 billion from $7.35 billion.

Excluding items, the company earned $1.71 per share.

Analysts on average had expected Micron to report a profit of $1.67 per share and revenue of $5.82 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

(Reporting by Sayanti Chakraborty in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

Source: OANN

Walmart's logo is seen outside one of the stores in Chicago
Walmart’s logo is seen outside one of the stores in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., November 20, 2018. REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski

March 20, 2019

By Nandita Bose

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Walmart Inc. Chief Technology Officer Jeremy King is leaving the company, according to an internal company memo, even as the retailer races to transform its e-commerce business and close the gap with rival Amazon.com Inc.

King, who joined the company in 2011, led a revamp of Walmart’s U.S. e-commerce technology platform by making it faster, more competitive and customer-friendly, all of which have been key to the retailer’s fight against its e-commerce rivals.

Under King, Walmart integrated its massive stores and online systems and began offering shoppers services such as in-store pickup of online orders, easy returns and online grocery pickup, among other benefits.  

King also led the company’s technology arm, Walmart Labs, through more than 10 acquisitions and was key in moving the company’s operations to the cloud, which gave the retailer more resources to compete with Amazon. He also oversaw the opening of four new tech offices.

In the past two years, King oversaw the tech transformation of Walmart’s roughly 4,700 U.S. stores.

Fiona Tan, senior vice-president of customer technology, Walmart Labs, will take on more responsibility as King’s replacement is found. She has been asked to become a liaison for the technology team, Walmart U.S. and the U.S. ecommerce leadership team, according to the memo, a copy of which Reuters has seen.

King’s departure comes at a time when Walmart is in the middle of making massive investments in its e-commerce business to compete more effectively. In February, the company said it expects its e-commerce losses to increase this year due to ongoing investments and it is focused on increasing return customer visits and strengthening its online product assortment.

The retailer’s ecommerce success has been erratic over the years but sales growth in the past few quarters has shown signs of consistency.

In the most recent quarter, online sales grew 43 percent and matched the previous quarter’s increase. The company credited that to a broader assortment of goods on its website and improved delivery, as well as store pickup of online grocery orders.

“The operational decisions made during (King’s) time were key to the success of our technology team and led to more agile ways of working,” said the memo sent on Wednesday to Walmart staff by U.S. Chief Executive Greg Foran and U.S. e-commerce chief Marc Lore.

“During Jeremy’s tenure, we created important relationships with Microsoft, Google, NVIDIA and others that will help carry our digital transformation well into the future,” the memo said.

It was not immediately clear what King intends to do once he leaves the retailer. His last day with the company will be March 29, according to the memo.

(Reporting by Nandita Bose in Washington; Editing by Dan Grebler)

Source: OANN

The Daily Caller Shop | Contributor

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You can find even more great deals like this at The Daily Caller Shop.

Source: The Daily Caller

FILE PHOTO: Rimasauskas ahead of a verdict announcement in his extradition case at a court in Vilnius
FILE PHOTO: Evaldas Rimasauskas ahead of a verdict announcement in his extradition case at a court in Vilnius, Lithuania July 17, 2017. REUTERS/Andrius Sytas

March 20, 2019

By Brendan Pierson

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A Lithuanian man on Wednesday pleaded guilty to U.S. charges that he helped orchestrate a scheme to defraud Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google out of more than $100 million, federal prosecutors announced.

Evaldas Rimasauskas, 50, entered his plea to one count of wire fraud before U.S. District Judge George Daniels in Manhattan. He faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison at his sentencing, currently scheduled for July 24.

Rimasauskas also agreed to forfeit about $49.7 million he personally obtained from the scheme, according to a court filing.

Paul Petrus, a lawyer for Rimasauskas, said the plea spoke for itself and declined to comment further.

Rimasauskas, originally from the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius, was extradited to the United States from Lithuania in August 2017.

U.S. prosecutors accused Rimasauskas and unnamed co-conspirators of bilking Google and Facebook out of more than $100 million by posing as an Asian hardware vendor and claiming that the companies owed the vendor money.

The prosecutors did not name the companies, but Taiwan-based Quanta Computer Inc confirmed after Rimasauskas’ arrest that it was the Asian vendor, and a Lithuanian court order in 2017 identified Google and Facebook as the victims.

The scheme defrauded Google out of $23 million and Facebook out of $99 million, according to that order. Prosecutors said Rimasauskas contributed to the scheme by setting up a fake company and a bank account in Latvia.

The scheme is an example of a growing type of fraud called “business email compromise,” in which fraudsters ask for money using emails targeted at companies that work with foreign suppliers or regularly make wire transfers.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation said in February 2017 that losses from such scams since the agency began tracking them in 2013 totaled more than $3 billion.

(Reporting by Brendan Pierson in New York; Editing by Leslie Adler)

Source: OANN

Chris White | Energy Reporter

European Union regulators fined Google a hefty $1.7 billion Wednesday on the basis that the Silicon Valley giant violated various anti-trust laws, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

Google engaged in “illegal practices” in a bid to “cement its dominant market position” in advertising markets, Margrethe Vestager, EU’s top competition commissioner, said in a press statement announcing the penalty. Additional criticisms and possible fines were still to come, she added.

Vestager has been a real headache for Google. She has now fined the tech giant more than $9 billion for antitrust violations.  U.S. regulators have so far avoided slapping fines on Google, though President Donald Trump flirted with the idea in November 2018. (RELATED: Trump’s Looking At Antitrust For Silicon Valley ‘Very Seriously’)

REUTERS/ Stephen Lam

A Google logo is seen at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, U.S., November 1, 2018. REUTERS/ Stephen Lam

Google has already made “a wide range of changes to our products to address the [European] Commission’s concerns,” Kent Walker, the company’s senior vice president of global affairs, said in a statement. Google has not yet disclosed whether it will consider appealing the E.U.’s decision.

Trump, for his part, has a long and sordid relationship with big tech, which he views as antithetical to conservative free expression. He told The Daily Caller in a 2018 interview that he believes Facebook and Google are interfering in the U.S. election on behalf of the Democratic Party.

Follow Chris White on Facebook and Twitter

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected].

Source: The Daily Caller

Apple AirPods are displayed during a media event in San Francisco
FILE PHOTO: Apple AirPods are displayed during a media event in San Francisco, California, U.S. September 7, 2016. REUTERS/Beck Diefenbach/File Photo

March 20, 2019

(Reuters) – Apple Inc on Wednesday launched an updated version of its wireless “AirPods” headphones, ahead of a March 25 event where it is expected to unveil a television and video service.

Earlier this week, Apple also launched a new 10.5-inch iPad Air and updated its iPad Mini as well as iMac PCs.

Apple said its new AirPods will be available on its website and the Apple Store app starting Wednesday, and in Apple Stores from next week.

The new AirPods with a standard charging case are priced at $159, while those with wireless charging case are available for $199, the iPhone maker said in a statement.

(Reporting by Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Poste Italiane headquarters is seen in Rome
FILE PHOTO: Poste Italiane headquarters is seen in Rome, Italy, May 30, 2016. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

March 20, 2019

MILAN (Reuters) – Poste Italiane aims to more than double the number of parcels it delivers by 2022, the head of its Mail and Parcel (M&P) unit said, as the former postal services monopoly presses on with its restructuring.

The group, which now comprises insurance and financial divisions and a digital payments unit in addition to M&P, has suffered falling letter volumes since at least 2008.

But Poste recorded its first growth in parcel revenue in 10 years in 2018, compensating for the fall in letters and showing that the restructuring was starting to pay off, it said.

“We aim to deliver 100 million parcels in 2022 compared with 45 million our staff delivered last year,” Massimo Rosini, head of M&P division, told investors in London.

The group wants to increase its market share for e-commerce parcel delivery to 40 percent by 2022 from 33 percent in 2018.

E-commerce is projected to grow rapidly in Italy as the country catches up with other European countries such as Britain where shopping online is much more common.

To compete with e-commerce giant Amazon, which is offering its Prime delivery service in the biggest Italian cities, Poste plans to fully implement a joint delivery system introduced last year and is developing an alternative network of delivery points.

Poste signed an agreement last year with labor unions to extend parcel delivery to the weekends and have staff hand over both parcels and letters to clients, while reducing the frequency of letter deliveries.

Revenue from the M&P division is expected to remain almost stable at around 3.5 billion euros this year, accounting for around one third of Poste’s total revenue of 11 billion euros expected for this year, Rosini said.

Poste CEO said on Tuesday the group was studying the possibility of delivering with drones and driverless vehicles to win more clients.

(Reporting by Francesca Landini; Editing by Edmund Blair)

Source: OANN

David Hookstead | Reporter

Quarterback Kyler Murray met Tuesday with the Arizona Cardinals.

According to Aaron Wilson, the team paid the Oklahoma Heisman winner a visit in Norman. The Cardinals were represented by head coach Kliff Kingsbury and general manager Steve Keim.

For those hoping speculation would die down about Murray going to the Cardinals, I wouldn’t count on it at all. Everything seems to point to Arizona taking him first overall, and they absolutely should.

The organization made a bold move by hiring Kingsbury after he was fired by Texas Tech. If you’re going to go bold, then you have to go all the way. (RELATED: Kyler Murray Measures In At Over 5’10” At The Combine)

There’s no quarterback in the draft better for the system he’s going to run than Murray. The dual-threat quarterback is lightning quick, has a big arm and is extremely elusive. The former college star is almost like a video game-created character.

The Cardinals should pull the trigger on the pick, and the fact they traveled to Norman is just the latest indication that’s the plan.

We’ll all find out when the first round of the NFL draft gets underway April 25. My money is all on Murray teaming up with Kingsbury and the Cardinals.

Follow David Hookstead on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

An attendant walks past EU and China flags ahead of the EU-China High-level Economic Dialogue in Beijing
FILE PHOTO: An attendant walks past EU and China flags ahead of the EU-China High-level Economic Dialogue at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China June 25, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee

March 20, 2019

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union leaders will coordinate their positions on Thursday evening on a number of issues they intend to raise with China at an April 9 summit, including tight cooperation on WTO reform and cyber-security concerns, a senior EU official said.

While there will be no written conclusions of the discussion, the leaders of the 28-nation bloc will also discuss how Europe should position itself in the trade conflict between the United States and China, the official said.

“We are ready to offer China very comprehensive cooperation in many areas,” the official, who is involved in the preparation of the EU leaders’ meeting, said.

He said EU leaders were ready to conclude in 2020 an “ambitious” EU-China investment agreement and that leaders of EU institutions would directly engage in the talks, to speed up the process which has so far been slow.

By mid-year, the EU would like to agree with China on a list of access barriers to priority markets so they can be eliminated and ensure that companies on both sides are not discriminated against.

The official said the EU was also ready to conclude as soon as possible an EU-China agreement on the protection of geographical indications and to work closely with Beijing to deeply reform the World Trade Organisation.

He said the reforms should include new rules on industrial subsidies, on eliminating forced technological transfers and getting to work the WTO appellate body, now paralyzed by the lack of appointed judges.

“We also want to work with China within the G20 framework to tackle the problem of over-capacity in the steel and aluminum sectors and also to prevent the problem of over-capacity in other sectors like in high tech,” the official said.

“We also want to work with China on new, transparent rules for export credit. We are ready to promote, together with China, connectivity between Europe and Asia, but in a way that ensures fiscal, financial and environmental sustainability,” he said.

The EU will also want to discuss with China its concerns linked to cyber security, including cyber theft of intellectual property, the official said.

“I think this discussion will also give a chance for a collective reflection on how the EU should position itself vis-a-vis China and the U.S.,” he added.

(Reporting By Jan Strupczewski; Editing by Catherine Evans)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO : A Toyota logo is displayed at the 89th Geneva International Motor Show in Geneva
FILE PHOTO : A Toyota logo is displayed at the 89th Geneva International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland March 5, 2019. REUTERS/Pierre Albouy

March 20, 2019

NAGOYA (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp and Suzuki Motor Corp on Wednesday said they planned to produce electric vehicles (EVs) and compact cars for each other to better compete with fast-changing technologies in the global auto industry.

The agreement builds on a partnership between the two Japanese companies announced in 2017 under which Toyota is helping Suzuki to develop and market electric cars in India, while Suzuki helps Toyota increase its presence in the fast-growing Indian market.

Under the latest agreement, Suzuki will source hybrid systems for cars it sells worldwide from Toyota, which pioneered hybrid vehicles with the Prius more than 20 years ago, the companies said in a joint statement.

Suzuki’s hybrid vehicles for the Indian market will be made using engines and batteries locally produced by Toyota. In addition, Toyota will produce electric vehicles based on its RAV4 SUV crossover and Corolla wagon for Suzuki in the European market.

In return, Suzuki will produce two compact models for Toyota in India based on its Ciaz and Ertiga models, and supply Toyota with gasoline engines for compact vehicle models sold in Europe.

Suzuki will also produce its Baleno, Vitara Brezza, Ciaz, and Ertiga models for Toyota to sell in Africa.

(Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: SAP SE CEO McDermott attends the company's annual results press conference in Walldorf
FILE PHOTO: SAP SE CEO Bill McDermott attends the company’s annual results press conference in Walldorf, Germany, January 24, 2017. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski/File Photo

March 20, 2019

By Douglas Busvine

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – When business software company SAP announced in January it would lay off 4,400 staff, Chief Financial Officer Luka Mucic described the restructuring as a “fitness program” for Europe’s most valuable technology firm.

But what some of the German company’s customers didn’t expect was that top software talent would be among those shipping out, rather than shaping up.

Gone is Bjoern Goerke, chief technology officer and head of SAP’s cloud platform business, along with programming gurus Thomas Jung and Rich Heilman – both highly respected in the wider SAP developer ecosystem.

The departures underscore CEO Bill McDermott’s determination to deliver on his long-stated ambition to drag SAP out of its comfort zone providing old-school enterprise software and complete its transformation into a digital platform business.

The shift comes at the risk of alienating core clients, who still account for the bulk of SAP’s business.

“The existing business must be supported with the necessary know-how,” said Marco Lenck, chairman of the German-speaking SAP User Group (DSAG) which represents 3,500 companies.

“We are seeing that a lot of people with know-how are leaving the company. That’s a trend that should not become too extensive.”

Nine years into McDermott’s tenure, SAP’s transition remains incomplete: Its legacy software license and support business remains its cash cow, accounting for three-quarters of revenue and most of profits. However, it is stagnating.

Its newer cloud operation is smaller and is growing quickly but, because it is subscription based, has thinner margins.

McDermott, 57, has promised to treble the size of the cloud business by 2023, bringing total revenues at SAP to 35 billion euros ($40 billion), as it competes with the likes of Oracle and Salesforce.com.

The latter is an all-cloud operation whose founder, Marc Benioff, wants to achieve sales of up to $28 billion in 2023 – in the same ballpark as SAP’s own ambition.

McDermott’s $8 billion takeover in November of Qualtrics, a U.S. firm that tracks consumer sentiment online, showed he is ready, if necessary, to pay top dollar for the talent needed for SAP to thrive in the digital era.

“We are a growth company,” the New Yorker said when he announced the shake-up in January. He expects SAP’s headcount – 96,500 at the end of last year – to exceed 100,000 by the end of this year as new hiring outpaces job cuts.

Asked for follow-up comment, SAP said the restructuring “will allow us to invest in key growth areas while implementing required changes in other areas to ensure they are prepared for the future”.

For some, the plan is sound.

“It’s not about headcount reduction and savings, but talent re-alignment,” said Holger Mueller, an SAP veteran and principal analyst at Constellation Research.

DEVELOPERS FRET

But for fans in the SAP ecosystem that includes a wider community of developers and business consultants, the departures are unsettling.

Dennis Howlett, a veteran consultant and co-founder of tech website Diginomica https://diginomica.com/saps-restructuring-hunger-games-game-of-thrones-or-both/amp, said SAP was letting go of “exceptional” talent to compensate for shortcomings in its own cloud strategy.

“Bill McDermott says we are a growth company, but where is the growth coming from, Bill, apart from acquisitions?” Howlett asked.

The trio, along with axed board member Bernd Leukert, were prime exponents of the in-house programming language that has for decades been the beating heart of SAP’s range of enterprise software and database products.

Their expertise helped the company, based in the small Rhineland town of Walldorf, grow into a $136 billion leader in applications – ranging from finance to supply-chain management – that can be variably configured to meet client needs.

“The software is like Lego, with pieces you can put together to make your world,” said Thorsten Franz, who runs an SAP consultancy in Germany and aired his concern about the layoffs on social media.

“Apparently it was too good to last,” he told Reuters. “Now SAP says: We don’t like the house any more, so we are firing the architect and all the people working on it.”

Jung and Heilman, who announced their departures this month on Twitter, declined to comment to Reuters.

Goerke, who is based in Palo Alto and is known for dressing up as Star Trek’s Captain James T. Kirk at off-site events, could not be reached. His Twitter handle suggested he was taking a time-out, carrying updates with poetry and photos from his daily jogging outings.

The restructuring sends a message to SAP’s existing clients that they need to take seriously a 2025 ‘end of life’ deadline for migrating users from legacy products to its latest, cloud-compatible S/4HANA platform.

German users are pushing back: “We will fight to ensure that we continue to receive support after 2025,” said Lenck of the DSAG.

SAP says, meanwhile, that it still has to hold conversations with staff on its restructuring in Europe. These are expected in the second quarter. The company plans to offer a mix of early retirement and voluntary redundancy to staff.

(Reporting by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Mark Potter)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: EU Competition Commissioner Vestager talks to the media at the European Council headquarters in Brussels
FILE PHOTO: European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager talks to the media at the European Council headquarters in Brussels, Belgium February 6, 2019. REUTERS/Yves Herman

March 20, 2019

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager will hold a news conference on an antitrust case at 1030 GMT (11.30 a.m. Brussels time), the European Commission said on Wednesday.

Vestager is expected to announce a third fine for Alphabet unit Google over anti-competitive practices, related to its AdSense advertising service, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters last week.

Last year, Vestager imposed a record 4.34 billion euro ($4.91 billion) fine on Google for using its popular Android mobile operating system to block rivals. This followed a 2.4 billion euro fine levied in 2017 for blocking rivals of shopping comparison websites.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Writing by Alissa de Carbonnel; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)

Source: OANN

A sign warning employees not to connect devices to the network in the wake of a cyber attack is seen at the headquarters of aluminum producer Norsk Hydro in Oslo
A sign warning employees not to connect devices to the network in the wake of a cyber attack is seen at the headquarters of aluminum producer Norsk Hydro in Oslo, Norway March 19, 2019. REUTERS/Gwladys Fouche

March 20, 2019

OSLO (Reuters) – Norsk Hydro, one of the world’s largest aluminum producers, has made progress in stabilizing operations following a ransomware cyber attack that began late on Monday, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Hydro’s technical team, with external support, has succeeded in detecting the root cause of the problems and is currently working to validate the plan and process to restart the company’s IT systems in a safe and sound manner,” it said.

“However, it is still not clear how long it might take (to)restore stable IT operations,” it added.

(Reporting by Terje Solsvik, editing by Gwladys Fouche)

Source: OANN

The logo of Samsung Electronics is seen at its office building in Seoul
The logo of Samsung Electronics is seen at its office building in Seoul, South Korea January 7, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

March 20, 2019

SEOUL (Reuters) – Samsung Electronics Co Ltd expects a tough year for its component business including memory chips due to sluggish growth in the smartphone market and reduced investment from data center companies, Chief Executive Kim Ki-nam said on Wednesday.

He was speaking at the South Korean tech giant’s annual general meeting where shareholders are expected to vote on the appointment of board directors.

Samsung is seeking new growth in areas such as network equipment manufacturing as sales of its mainstay chips and smartphones begin to drop.

The company would continue to make bold investments in semiconductor manufacturing in the face of stiffening Chinese competition, Kim said.

(Reporting by Ju-min Park; additional reporting by Hyunjoo Jin and Heekyong Yang; Editing by Stephen Coates)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Kids Choice Sport Awards 2018 – Arrivals – Los Angeles, California, U.S.
FILE PHOTO: Kids Choice Sport Awards 2018 – Arrivals – Los Angeles, California, U.S., 19/07/2018. Martellus Bennett poses. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok – HP1EE7J1PRC4Q

March 20, 2019

Tempted to join his brother and the New England Patriots, tight end Martellus Bennett said he will instead remain retired to focus on his creative work.

Michael Bennett was acquired by the Patriots from the Philadelphia Eagles earlier this month, sparking speculation the defensive lineman might soon be joined by his 32-year-old brother, who retired after being released by New England last offseason.

Martellus Bennett has since focused his creative efforts on his “life’s work” for The Imagination Agency.

“This is why I can’t come out of retirement,” he wrote in an Instagram post Monday. “I would love to play ball with my brother it would truly be a dream come true. But my biggest dream is to change lives with my creativity and that is what I am currently doing @theimaginationagency

“these kids don’t need another athlete to look up to or to aspire to be there’s plenty of inspiration out there for that. I want to inspire the next wave of creatives. The storytellers. The engineers. The designers. The doctors. The filmmakers. The composers. Tech moguls. And maybe a few athletes who like me never felt like they belonged in a locker room.

“I was never one of the guys guys most of my teammates would tell that. I’ve always been a creative who enjoyed competing. I’m playing the game that I was made to play and it’s the most fun I’ve ever had. Scoring touchdowns winning a super bowl has never made me feel the way seeing kids/families/people enjoying things I have created. I’m doing my life’s work fulfilling what I believe to be my life’s purpose. I hope everyone finds something that makes them as happy and as fulfilled as I have with my work @theimaginationagency I appreciate all of the love but this is waaaaayyy bigger than the game of football.”

Martellus Bennett has 30 career touchdowns and played 16 games for the Patriots in 2016, posting 55 receptions and seven scores.

Michael Bennett, 33, has played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Seattle Seahawks and Eagles.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Stanislas Niox-Chateau, Co-Founder & CEO of Doctolib, poses at the entrance of the company's headquarters in Paris
FILE PHOTO: Stanislas Niox-Chateau, Co-Founder & CEO of Doctolib, poses at the entrance of the company’s headquarters in Paris, France, November 27, 2017. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

March 19, 2019

PARIS (Reuters) – Franco-German start-up Doctolib, an online booking platform for doctors, has raised 150 million euros from a pool of investors led by U.S. venture capital giant General Atlantic, it said on Tuesday.

The fundraising brings the company’s valuation to over 1 billion euros ($1.14 billion), it said in a statement, taking it to the coveted club of so-called “unicorns” — or startups that valued above that threshold.

General Atlantic, which has $31 billion in assets under management, which has notably invested in China’s biggest e-commerce company Alibaba and flat-sharing app Airbnb, made health one of the key fields in which to invest.

Doctolib’s existing investors, which include investment firm Eurazeo, France’s state-owned investment bank Bpifrance and venture funds Kernel and Accel, also took part in the round, the company’s fifth.

The six-year-old group, based in Paris and Berlin, has not yet reached break even and does not disclose its financial figures.

It says it receives about 30 million online visits from patients every month and works with over 75,000 physicians, who subscribe to its online service for 109 euros a month.

Doctolib’s software aims to cut the so-called “no show” rate, or the number of people who do not turn up for their medical appointments.

It also seeks to ease doctors’ day-to-day communication with patients via remote visits by computer and the sharing of health documents on its platform.

Doctolib intends to spend the new funds to double its staff to 1,500 in the next three years. It also aims to expand out these two markets internationally but declined to provide any target. ($1 = 0.8810 euros)

(Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain and Gwenaelle Barzic; Editing by Bate Felix)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Homeland Security Committee Chairman Thompson chairs hearing on border security on Capitol Hill in Washington
FILE PHOTO: Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) listens to testimony from Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen during a House Homeland Security Committee hearing on “The Way Forward on Border Security” on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., March 6, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts?

March 19, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Following the live-streaming on social media of the mass shooting in New Zealand, the chair of the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security wrote a letter to top executives of four major technology companies urging them to do a better job of removing violent political content.

In a letter dated Monday and released on Tuesday, Representative Bennie Thompson urged the chief executives of Facebook, Alphabet’s Google, which owns YouTube, Twitter and Microsoft to more swiftly remove content that would spawn political extremism.

The letter follows the fatal shootings of 50 worshippers in two mosques in Christchurch last week. The shooter, a suspected white supremacist, live-streamed the killings on social media, where it was widely shared.

“Your companies must prioritize responding to these toxic and violent ideologies with resources and attention,” Thomson wrote. “If you are unwilling to do so, Congress must consider policies to ensure that terrorist content is not distributed on your platforms, including by studying the examples being set by other countries.

“The video was widely available on your platforms well after the attack, despite calls from New Zealand authorities to take these videos down,” he wrote.

Facebook said it removed 1.5 million videos showing the attack in the first 24 hours after it occurred.

Thompson also asked the companies for a briefing on the matter.

A Facebook spokesman said the company “will brief the committee soon.” Google, Twitter and Microsoft did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat who has been critical of Facebook for privacy lapses, said on Tuesday that the government should tread carefully in reining in tech companies for fear of aiding dictators and other bad actors.

Wyden warned against revoking protections given in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act that specifies tech companies are not responsible for what users say on their platform.

“If politicians want to restrict the First Amendment or eliminate the tools with which much of the world communicates in real time, they should understand they are also taking away the tools that bear witness to government brutality, war crimes, corporate lawlessness and incidents of racial bias,” Wyden said in a statement. 

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a nonprofit that advocates for civil liberties in the digital world, cautioned policymakers last week not to rush to regulate speech on online platforms or else it could “disproportionately silence” the most vulnerable users, such as Egyptian journalist Wael Abbas, who was kicked off YouTube for posting videos on police brutality.

EFF also called for guidelines that urge social platforms to be transparent about how many posts and accounts they remove, and give users notice and a chance to appeal if one of their posts is taken down.

(Reporting by Diane Bartz; Additional reporting by David Shepardson and Sarah Lynch; editing by Bill Berkrot)

Source: OANN

Mason Thibault | Contributor

Whether you’ve been looking for a steal on an older MacBook Air or want to save on a more recent one, Amazon is currently offers refurbished options that offer all the features and benefits of brand-new tech at considerable discounts. This 2017 model provides razor-thin aluminum casing, sharp displays, and top-shelf internals for their respective years. Take a peek—you can get the 2017 12″ for $929 after 30% off the $1300 MSRP.

Normally $1300, this certified refurbished MacBook Air is 30 percent off (Photo via Amazon)

Normally $1300, this certified refurbished MacBook Air is 30 percent off (Photo via Amazon)

Apple MacBook Air 13″ Core Dual Core MacOS (Certified Refurbished) on sale for $929

This model has a range of amazing features, including Intel M3 processors with Intel Turbo Boost tech to save you power and give you extra oomph when needed. You get 12 hours of battery time at full tilt, and 8GB RAM ensures you can multi-task without a hitch, while 2304-by-1440 resolution at 226 pixels resolution makes for a very detailed image. With the 2017 model, you add a 128GB SSD for super-fast storage to the mix, as well as more powerful Intel HD 6000 graphics for video & game work if needed.

(Photo via Amazon)

(Photo via Amazon)

It’s no secret why MacBooks are the most sought-after laptops around. If you’d love an Air but don’t like the retail price, head over to Amazon and check out this deal, today only.

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Tencent Music Entertainment company is seen officially listed on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York
Tencent Music Entertainment company is seen officially listed on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., December 12, 2018. REUTERS/Bryan R Smith

March 19, 2019

(Reuters) – China-based music streaming company Tencent Music Entertainment Group on Tuesday reported a profit of 1.83 billion yuan ($272.7 million) for full-year 2018, in its first earnings report since going public.

The company, controlled by Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd, reported a net loss of 875 million yuan ($130.39 million) in the fourth quarter due to a one-off share-based accounting charge.

Quarterly revenue rose 50.5 percent to 5.4 billion yuan ($804.7 million), beating the average analysts’ estimates of 5.29 billion yuan.

(Reporting by Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru and Sijia Jiang in Hong Kong; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Silhouettes of laptop users are seen next to a screen projection of Facebook logo in this picture illustration
FILE PHOTO: Silhouettes of laptop users are seen next to a screen projection of Facebook logo in this picture illustration taken March 28, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

March 19, 2019

(Reuters) – The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said on Tuesday as part of a settlement with Facebook Inc the social network will make changes to its paid advertising platform to prevent discrimination in employment, housing and credit ads.

Facebook will also take proactive steps to prevent advertisers from discriminating users based on race, sex and age, ACLU said in a statement.

Since late 2016, Facebook has faced legal pressure related to its ad targeting practices from the ACLU, Outten & Golden LLP, the Communications Workers of America, job seekers and consumers, and fair housing and civil rights organizations.

Facebook in the past had reached a similar agreement with the Washington state to end discriminatory ad targeting, and had said it removed thousands of categories related to potentially sensitive personal attributes from its exclusion ad targeting tools.

(Reporting by Akanksha Rana and Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

Source: OANN

Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks during the Google keynote address at the Gaming Developers Conference in San Francisco
Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks during the Google keynote address at the Gaming Developers Conference in San Francisco, California, U.S., March 19, 2019. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

March 19, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s Google announced on Tuesday a video game streaming service dubbed Stadia that attempts to capitalize on the company’s cloud technology and global network of data centers.

The technology would allow users to play high-end games on their internet browser without having to wait for any content to be downloaded to their device.

Google unveiled the service during a keynote presentation in San Francisco at the Game Developers Conference, which is bringing together this week about 25,000 people who work in the video games industry.

(Reporting by Paresh Dave; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

Source: OANN

U.S. President Trump departs for Alabama from the White House in Washington
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump talks to reporters as he departs to visit storm-hit areas of Alabama from the White House in Washington, U.S., March 8, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

March 19, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that the big tech platforms, Facebook, YouTube owner Google and Twitter, were on the side of the left, along with the “corrupt media.”

“But fear not, we will win anyway, just like we did before! #MAGA,” he said in a tweet. MAGA refers to his 2016 campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

Facebook, Alphabet’s Google and Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Reporting by Diane Bartz and David Shepardson)

Source: OANN

NVIDIA logo shown at SIGGRAPH 2017
FILE PHOTO: A NVIDIA logo is shown at SIGGRAPH 2017 in Los Angeles, California, U.S. July 31, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake

March 19, 2019

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel-based Cognata, a developer of simulation platforms for self-driving cars, said on Tuesday it was partnering with U.S. chip supplier Nvidia Corp to speed up testing and validation for autonomous driving.

The companies will deliver an array of scenario and traffic models using large-scale, hardware-in-the-loop simulation, it said.

The simulation, Cognata said, will reduce testing time and costs, as well as produce better product quality and increase safety.

“Highly accurate and scalable traffic model simulation technology is essential to validate autonomous vehicle systems within nearly infinite combinations of real-world scenarios,” said Cognata CEO Danny Atsmon.

(Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Steven Scheer)

Source: OANN

Silhouettes of mobile users are seen next to a screen projection of Instagram logo in this picture illustration
FILE PHOTO: Silhouettes of mobile users are seen next to a screen projection of Instagram logo in this picture illustration taken March 28, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

March 19, 2019

(Reuters) – Facebook Inc’s Instagram will now let U.S. users to shop products directly from the photo sharing app by adding a ‘checkout’ feature on items tagged for sale, the company said on Tuesday.

The move is in line with Facebook’s plan to monetize higher-growth units like Instagram, especially as the company’s centerpiece product, News Feed, struggles to generate fresh interest.

Instagram said it has partnered with more than 20 brands, including Adidas and H&M, on the new feature.

The photo sharing app has more than 130 million people tapping to reveal product tags in shopping posts every month, up from 90 million in September, it said.

(Reporting by Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru and Katie Paul in San Francisco; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

Source: OANN

An Angry Birds game character is seen at the Rovio headquarters in Espoo
FILE PHOTO: An Angry Birds game character is seen at the Rovio headquarters in Espoo, Finland March 13, 2019. Picture taken March 13, 2019. REUTERS/Anne Kauranen

March 19, 2019

(Reuters) – Finnish game company Rovio released an augmented reality game called Angry Birds Isle of Pigs, developed together with Swedish game studio Resolution Games for Apple’s mobile devices, the Finnish games developer said on Tuesday.

The release announced at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco came in addition to the two games the company had promised to release this year, with one of them already out.

(Reporting by Anne Kauranen; Editing by Edmund Blair)

Source: OANN

People walk past a Xiaomi store in Shenyang
FILE PHOTO: People walk past a Xiaomi store in Shenyang, Liaoning province, China June 12, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer

March 19, 2019

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp said on Tuesday its fourth-quarter net profit more than tripled to 1.85 billion yuan ($275.59 million), on stronger revenue.

That profit exceeded the 1.7 billion yuan average estimate of 10 analysts, according to Refinitiv data.

Revenue for the period increased 27 percent to 44.4 billion yuan, lower than the 47.4 billion yuan average estimate of 13 analysts, according to Refinitiv data.

For the full 2018 calendar year, Xiaomi brought in revenue of 174.9 billion yuan and made a net profit of 8.6 billion yuan.

This marks the third set of financial results for the company since its IPO in Hong Kong. Xiaomi shares have rallied nearly 30 percent since early January, though they remain well below their July listing price.

(Reporting by Josh Horwitz; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

Source: OANN

An exterior view of China Evergrande Centre in Hong Kong
FILE PHOTO: An exterior view of China Evergrande Centre in Hong Kong, China March 26, 2018. Picture taken March 26, 2018. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

March 19, 2019

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese property firm Evergrande Group will start producing its first electric vehicles in June as part of a goal to become the world’s largest new energy vehicle (NEV) company within the next three to five years, according to its chairman.

Hui Ka Yan made the comments at a conference in the eastern city of Tianjin over the weekend, according to a statement published on the company’s website on Tuesday.

“The new energy automobile industry has a huge market prospect. Evergrande has completed the entire industrial chain layout in the field of new energy vehicles,” Hui said.

He also said that Evergrande plans to start selling its first electric vehicle model globally “soon”, which will use electric car production technology from Swedish car makers Saab and Koenigsegg, and drive systems from Netherlands’ e-Traction, according to the statement.

Evergrande, China’s second-largest property developer by sales, has been aggressively expanding into the automotive space in search of new areas of growth as the Chinese property market slows.

Its subsidiary, Evergrande Health, invested in vehicle manufacturer National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB and Chinese auto battery maker Shanghai CENAT New Energy Co this year. It is also the majority investor in Swedish super car brand Koenigsegg.

Not all of its investments have gone smoothly, however.

Last year, Evergrande Health bought 45 percent of Chinese electric vehicle firm Faraday Future as part of a $2 billion plan but the deal eventually turned sour. The companies have since ended their legal fight.

Sales of NEV vehicles have remained a bright spot in China’s car market, jumping 61.7 percent in 2018 to 1.3 million vehicles even as the overall car market contracted for the first time since the 1990s. China’s biggest auto industry association predicts NEV sales to hit 1.6 million this year.

(Reporting by Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Yandex.Drive carsharing cars are seen at a parking lot in Moscow
FILE PHOTO: Yandex.Drive carsharing cars are seen at a parking lot in Moscow, Russia September 10, 2018. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

March 19, 2019

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s Yandex and Hyundai Mobis Co Ltd, an auto parts affiliate of Hyundai Motor Co, agreed to jointly develop control systems for driverless vehicles, Yandex said on Tuesday.

The companies plan to present a driverless prototype vehicle based on a standard Hyundai or Kia production model cars before the end of the year, a Yandex spokesman said.

In the future, the cooperation aims at building a new autonomous driving control system for car manufacturers, car sharing services and taxi fleets.

Yandex added they may expand into other areas of cooperation such as developing joint products that would integrate Yandex’s speech, navigation, and mapping technologies.

The Russian company began testing self-driving prototypes in 2017 and launched a fully autonomous taxi service last year in the university city of Innopolis and the Skolkovo innovations center.

(Reporting by Anastasia Teterevleva; Writing by Polina Nikolskaya and Maria Kiselyova; Editing by Louise Heavens)

Source: OANN

A journalist uses his mobile phone to take a picture of the 5G logo prior to the auction of spectrum for 5G services at the Bundesnetzagentur head quarters in Mainz
A journalist uses his mobile phone to take a picture of the 5G logo prior to the auction of spectrum for 5G services at the Bundesnetzagentur head quarters in Mainz, Germany, March 19, 2019. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

March 19, 2019

MAINZ, Germany (Reuters) – Germany launched its 5G mobile spectrum auction on Tuesday, finally going ahead after a court threw out legal challenges and regulators resisted U.S. pressure to ban Chinese network vendors from building out next-generation networks.

Four firms are vying for 41 blocks of spectrum in the 2 GHz and 3.6 GHz bands that are suited to running ‘connected’ factories – a priority for Europe’s largest economy as it seeks to remain competitive in the digital age.

“It is important for us that we have a focus on industry, and on better coverage,” Jochen Homann, head of the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) said ahead of the auction.

Germany’s three network operators – Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and Telefonica Deutschland – have been admitted into the auction.

Also participating is 1&1 Drillisch, a virtual mobile operator controlled by United Internet that wants to run a fourth network.

Bid teams surrendered their smartphones on entering the former army barracks in the southwestern city of Mainz where the auction is being held. They are bidding via a secure network from separate rooms and can only discuss strategy with their head offices via fax.

All 41 blocks will be auctioned simultaneously, with results posted online after each round. The government hopes to raise billions from the auction – a 4G auction in 2015 collected 5.1 billion euros ($5.8 billion) – which is likely to go on for weeks.

After months of uncertainty, the auction went ahead after a court last week threw out lawsuits from the operators, who had complained that a requirement to provide high-speed coverage to 98 percent of households by 2022 was too onerous.

Regulators also clarified ground rules applying to network equipment vendors following U.S. pressure on its allies to ban China’s Huawei Technologies on national security grounds.

Germany opted instead to impose tighter compliance requirements on all vendors, creating a level playing field and allaying the concerns of the operators – all of which already use Huawei equipment – that they would have to replace parts of their networks at great expense.

“The same rules apply, whether you are from Sweden or China,” Homann told reporters.

(Reporting by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

Source: OANN

An employee of Germany's Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur) uses his mobile phone in front of a screen set up for the auction of spectrum for 5G services at the Bundesnetzagentur headquarters in Mainz
An employee of Germany’s Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur) uses his mobile phone in front of a screen set up for the auction of spectrum for 5G services at the Bundesnetzagentur headquarters in Mainz, Germany, March 18, 2019. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

March 19, 2019

By Douglas Busvine

MAINZ, Germany (Reuters) – Germany begins an auction of spectrum for next-generation 5G mobile networks on Tuesday, the outcome of which will play a decisive role in determining whether Europe’s largest economy remains competitive in the digital age.

It nearly didn’t happen: a raft of lawsuits brought by network operators was thrown out by a court only last week. The buildup has also been overshadowed by U.S. pressure on its allies to bar Chinese vendors from participating in building 5G networks due to national security fears.

In the end, regulators preferred to draft tougher rules for all vendors rather than meet the U.S. demand to banish China’s Huawei Technologies, the global network market leader.

Here’s an overview of how the auction will work:

WHAT IS BEING AUCTIONED?

Germany’s Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) is auctioning off 41 blocks of spectrum in the 2 GHz and 3.6 GHz bands.

These frequencies have relatively short range and high data-carrying capacity, suiting them to use in running ‘connected’ factories – an industrial policy priority.

Urban areas should get 5G coverage early, with another application likely to be super-fast domestic wireless broadband.

WHO’S TAKING PART?

Germany’s three network operators – Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and Telefonica Deutschland – have been admitted into the auction.

Also participating is 1&1 Drillisch, a virtual mobile operator controlled by United Internet that wants to run a fourth network.

The Big Three filed lawsuits to delay the auction, arguing that its requirement to provide high-speed coverage to 98 percent of households by 2022 was too onerous. They also criticized rules for network sharing, arguing they would make life too easy for new market entrants.

The Cologne Administrative Court threw out those lawsuits on Friday. Outstanding litigation may yet lead to the results of the auction being reviewed, although BNetzA says it is on firm legal ground.

HOW MUCH MONEY WILL THE AUCTION RAISE?

BNetzA has declined to forecast proceeds but the federal government hopes to raise several billion euros – money it will reinvest in upgrading Germany’s broadband networks.

The last auction in 2015, for 4G frequencies, raised 5.1 billion euros ($5.8 billion). Back in 2000, a 3G auction raised more than 50 billion euros – a ruinous sum that forced some players out of the market and others to merge.

HOW WILL IT WORK?

The auction is being held in old army barracks in the south-western city of Mainz. Bid teams will have to surrender their phones when they enter. They will submit offers from separate rooms via a secure network, and can only seek guidance via fax from their head offices.

All 41 blocks will be auctioned simultaneously and results will be published online https://www.bundesnetzagentur.de/DE/Sachgebiete/Telekommunikation/Unternehmen_Institutionen/Frequenzen/OeffentlicheNetze/Mobilfunknetze/mobilfunknetze-node.html after each round. Minimum bids range between 1.7 million and 5 million euros and total 104.6 million euros. The process ends when no fresh bids are entered.

Based on past experience, the auction could run for weeks – a previous one in 2010 lasted six weeks.

WHAT ABOUT U.S. CALLS TO SHUT OUT CHINESE VENDORS?

Germany resisted calls from the United States to shut Chinese network vendors out of its 5G buildout due to national security concerns.

Instead of banning Huawei outright, regulators have tightened rules on all network vendors. These won’t bid in the auction but will be key partners in upgrading network infrastructure.

WHAT ABOUT OTHER EUROPEAN AUCTIONS?

Several countries – among them Ireland, Finland, Italy, Switzerland and Austria – have already auctioned 5G spectrum. Most have been low-key affairs, with only modest sums raised because the sales were designed to leave operators with money left over to invest in network upgrades.

The exception was Italy, where frenzied bidding last year raised 6.5 billion euros for the cash-strapped government but left operators financially stretched.

Countries like France have yet to hold 5G auctions, leaving Europe as a whole lagging early adopters like the United States, Japan and Korea.

($1 = 0.8818 euros)

(Reporting by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Concrete pipes connecting the bauxite residue deposit to its water treatment station are pictured at the alumina refinery Alunorte, owned by Norwegian company Norsk Hydro ASA, in Barcarena
FILE PHOTO: Concrete pipes connecting the bauxite residue deposit to its water treatment station are pictured at the alumina refinery Alunorte, owned by Norwegian company Norsk Hydro ASA, in Barcarena, Para state, Brazil March 5, 2018. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes/File Photo

March 19, 2019

OSLO (Reuters) – Norsk Hydro, one of the world’s largest producers of aluminum, was sustaining a cyber attack on Tuesday that affected its operations, sending its shares lower.

“IT-systems in most business areas are impacted and Hydro is switching to manual operations as far as possible. Hydro is working to contain and neutralize the attack, but does not yet know the full extent of the situation,” it said in a statement.

Norsk Hydro’s website was unavailable on Tuesday. The company was not immediately available for further comment.

Hydro’s shares were down 2.9 percent at 0806 GMT, lagging an Oslo benchmark index up 0.13 percent.

(Reporting by Gwladys Fouche, editing by Terje Solsvik)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Intel logo is seen behind LED lights in this illustration
FILE PHOTO: Intel logo is seen behind LED lights in this illustration taken January 5, 2018. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

March 19, 2019

By Tova Cohen and Steven Scheer

TEL AVIV (Reuters) – Israel’s exports of computer chips to China soared last year as Chinese companies bought more semiconductors made at Intel’s Kiryat Gat plant.

An official at the Israel Export Institute told Reuters that new data showed semiconductor exports to China jumped 80 percent last year to $2.6 billion. An industry source told Reuters that Intel Israel accounted for at least 80 percent of those sales.

The data will be welcome news for the Israeli government as it pushes for deeper ties with China and because semiconductors accounted for $3.9 billion of overall goods exports in 2018, according to the institute, a government agency.

The two countries have started negotiating a trade deal and technology is expected to be a major part of the discussions. Overall exports of Israeli goods to China, excluding diamonds, rose 50 percent to $4.7 billion, statistics.

Intel announced a $5 billion investment to expand capacity in its Kiryat Gat plant in southern Israel in 2017, which makes some of the smallest and fastest chips in the world.

That year it also bought Israeli auto-focused chip and technology firm Mobileye for $15 billion. It said this year it would invest $11 billion in a new Israeli plant.

A spokesman for Intel said the firm exported $3.9 billion worth of goods from Israel last year, up from $3.6 billion in 2017. He declined to give further details of Intel’s operations in Israel.

Chinese officials have said they are looking to develop a domestic chip market because Chinese companies import $270 billion of semiconductors each year. Israel has a reputation for exporting high-end chips.

Israel’s export institute also said sales to China of inspection equipment for semiconductor manufacturing jumped 64 percent to $450 million last year.

That equipment is used to control and inspect manufacturing processes in semiconductor plants and is useful for China as its domestic chip manufacturing increases.

Companies in Israel making such equipment include Orbotech, which was just acquired by fellow semiconductor equipment maker KLA-Tencor of California for about $3.4 billion.

That deal was announced a year ago but was held up by Chinese regulators, who only gave their approval in February.

PIVOT TO ASIA

China is now Israel’s second largest export market for goods after the United States, having overtaken Britain last year.

Sales of semiconductors to the United States slipped 20 percent to $860 million, contributing to a 3 percent drop in goods exports. But at $10.9 billion, overall goods exports still dwarf those to China.

Israel has been pivoting its economy toward Asia in the past few years both because of perceived political hostility in some European countries and the fact that Asian markets are growing rapidly.

In recent years, Chinese-based airlines have started direct flights to Tel Aviv, the two countries signed a visa agreement and are working on the trade deal. Israel is also in talks for free trade agreements with Vietnam and South Korea.

Some analysts in China expect the ties to get stronger due to the tit-for-tat trade war between the United States, a major chip producer, and China.

“Because of the trade war, China and Israel’s cooperation is closer than it has been before,” said Gu Wenjun, chief analyst at ICWise, a semiconductor consultancy in Shanghai.

“Israel has the technology and China has the market – the space for cooperation is big.”

Eyal Waldman, founder and CEO of Israeli chipmaker Mellanox, said his company was benefiting from China’s policies.

“In China they prefer to use Chinese silicon and then after that non-U.S. silicon and only if they don’t have that then U.S. silicon, so we are benefiting from that,” he told Reuters.

“We are seeing better growth in China.”

Mellanox agreed this week to sell itself to California-based chipmaker Nvidia Corp for almost $7 billion. Intel lost the bidding war to Nvidia. Russell Ellwanger, the CEO of another major chip manufacturer TowerJazz, said his company’s growth in China “is very, very strong”.

(Additional reporting by Josh Horwitz in Shanghai and Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; editing by Anna Willard)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Men look at stock quotation boards outside a brokerage in Tokyo
FILE PHOTO: Men look at stock quotation boards outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan, December 5, 2018. REUTERS/Issei Kato

March 19, 2019

By Tomo Uetake

Asian shares treaded water on Tuesday ahead of a U.S. Federal Reserve policy meeting, hovering near six-month highs, while sterling was choppy as the speaker of Britain’s parliament banned another vote on same Brexit deal.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was virtually flat, just a hair away from the highest level since Sept. 21.

Japan’s Nikkei average dropped 0.5 percent, while Australian stocks eased 0.1 percent.

All three major U.S. indexes rose overnight, lifted by banks and tech names, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq Composite adding between 0.3 and 0.4 percent each. [.N]

“Speculators appear to be betting on rise in stock prices on the back of a dovish Fed. The Fed is unlikely to kill such hopes. Yet there is a risk the Fed could tone down its dovishness,” said Masanari Takada, cross-asset strategist at Nomura Securities.

With signs of global economic growth slowing, traders were focused on the Federal Reserve, which is kicking off its two-day policy meeting on later in the day, for clues about the likely path of U.S. borrowing costs.

In particular, investors will be focusing on whether policymakers have sufficiently lowered their interest rate forecasts to more closely align their “dot plot”, a diagram showing individual policymakers’ rate views for the next three years.

Also expected is more detail on a plan to stop cutting the Fed’s holdings of nearly $3.8 trillion in bonds.

“A key focus is when the Fed will omit the word ‘patient’ from its statement, as that would be a pre-requisite for a rate hike,” said Toru Yamamoto, chief fixed income strategist at Daiwa Securities.

In the currency market, the pound found firmer footing on Tuesday after slipping to as low as $1.3183 overnight as lawmakers cast doubt on Prime Minister Theresa May’s third attempt to get parliament to back her Brexit deal. [GBP/]

May’s Brexit plans were thrown into further turmoil on Monday when the speaker of parliament ruled that she could not put her divorce deal to a new vote unless it was re-submitted in fundamentally different form.

May has only two days to win approval for her deal to leave the European Union if she wants to go to a summit with the bloc’s leaders on Thursday with something to offer them in return for more time.

Meanwhile, senior diplomats said the European Union leaders could hold off making any final decision on any Brexit delay when they meet in Brussels later this week, depending on what exactly May asks them for.

The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies barely moved and was at 96.498.

The Japanese yen edged up 0.1 percent to 111.27 yen to the dollar, while the euro was almost flat at $1.1334.

Oil prices rose to near four-month highs on Monday, supported by the prospect of extended OPEC-led oil supply curbs and signs of inventory declines in U.S. crude stockpiles. [O/R]

Early on Tuesday, U.S. crude futures slipped 0.2 percent to $58.99 a barrel.

(Reporting by Tomo Uetake; Additional reporting by Hideyuki Sano; Editing by Kim Coghill)

Source: OANN

Kim Jong-hoon, a senior researcher at Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Building Technology (KICT) demonstrates an application 'Watch Out' that gives an alert to a user distracted by using smart phone while crossing a zebra crossing, in Ilsan
Kim Jong-hoon, a senior researcher at Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Building Technology (KICT) demonstrates an application ‘Watch Out’ that gives an alert to a user distracted by using smart phone while crossing a zebra crossing, in Ilsan, South Korea, March 12, 2019. Picture taken on March 12, 2019. The message reads: “A car is approaching from the left, watch out for the car”. REUTERS/Minwoo Park

March 19, 2019

By Minwoo Park

ILSAN, South Korea (Reuters) – A city in South Korea, which has the world’s highest smartphone penetration rate, has installed flickering lights and laser beams at a road crossing to warn “smartphone zombies” to look up and drivers to slow down, in the hope of preventing accidents.

The designers of the system were prompted by growing worry that more pedestrians glued to their phones will become casualties in a country that already has some of the highest road fatality and injury rates among developed countries.

State-run Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Building Technology (KICT) believes its system of flickering lights at zebra crossings can warn both pedestrians and drivers.

In addition to red, yellow and blue LED lights on the pavement, “smombies” – smartphone zombies – will be warned by laser beam projected from power poles and an alert sent to the phones by an app that they are about to step into traffic.

“Increasing number of smombie accidents have occurred in pedestrian crossings, so these zombie lights are essential to prevent these pedestrian accidents,” said KICT senior researcher Kim Jong-hoon.

The multi-dimensional warning system is operated by radar sensors and thermal cameras and comes with a price tag of 15 million won ($13,250) per crossing.

Drivers are alerted by the flashing lights, which have shown to be effective 83.4 percent of the time in the institute’s tests involving about 1,000 vehicles.

In 2017, more than 1,600 pedestrians were killed in auto related accidents, which is about 40 percent of total traffic fatalities, according to data from the Traffic Accident Analysis System.

South Korea has the world’s highest smartphone penetration rate, according to Pew Research Center, with about 94 percent of adults owning the devices in 2017, compared with 77 percent in the United States and 59 percent in Japan.

For now, the smombie warning system is installed only in Ilsan, a suburban city about 30 km northwest of the capital, Seoul, but is expected to go nationwide, according to the institute.

Kim Dan-hee, a 23-year-old resident of Ilsan, welcomed the system, saying she was often too engrossed in her phone to remember to look at traffic.

“This flickering light makes me feel safe as it makes me look around again, and I hope that we can have more of these in town,” she said.

(Reporting by Minwoo Park; Editing by Jack Kim, Robert Birsel)

Source: OANN

The Netflix logo is seen on their office in Hollywood, Los Angeles
The Netflix logo is seen on their office in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S. July 16, 2018. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

March 19, 2019

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Netflix Inc will not make its programming available through a coming TV service expected to be unveiled by Apple Inc, Netflix Chief Executive Reed Hastings said on Monday.

“We prefer to let our customers watch our content on our service,” Hastings told reporters at a briefing at the company’s offices in Hollywood.

(Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Sandra Maler)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: The British flag flies next to European flags at the European Commission in Brussels
FILE PHOTO: The British flag flies next to European flags at the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium December 8, 2017. REUTERS/Yves Herman

March 19, 2019

By Huw Jones

LONDON (Reuters) – Leaving the European Union is making it harder for fintech firms in Britain to recruit top talent, a report said on Tuesday, threatening to slam the brakes on a 7 billion pound ($9 billion)growth sector just as EU states step up competition.

The Fuelling Fintech report from TheCityUK, which promotes Britain as a financial center, and recruitment firm Odgers Berndtson, said fintech and other financial services firms must work harder to secure the skills they need.

Fintech employs 60,000 people and investment grew by 154 percent in 2017.

The report offers ways to generate more “home grown” tech talent as immigration faces curbs after Brexit.

“Since the Brexit vote in June 2016, there has been a significant decrease of graduates coming to the UK from France and Germany in particular,” said Miles Celic, chief executive of TheCityUK.

Up to a fifth of the skills needed in recent years has come from EU countries, and UK hirers are now seeing a net migration of tech graduates back to the bloc.

Companies struggle to fill roles in coding, cloud computing, machine learning, software development, cyber, artificial intelligence and blockchain, the report said.

“There is a risk that those talented migrants with the skills needed by the UK will leave before these skills can be replaced by home-grown talent,” Celic said.

(GRAPHIC: TheCityUK/Odgers Berndston Report – https://tmsnrt.rs/2ObgELT)

The report recommends copying pharmaceuticals and manufacturing by forging long-term partnerships with academia to create a pipeline of skilled people – and also looking beyond graduates.

Better data gathering on the skills needed and better retraining of existing employees are also needed, the report said.

Britain has emerged as a leading fintech hub in Europe in recent years but now faces increased competition from EU cities such as Berlin, Paris and Luxembourg that can offer access to the bloc’s vast single market. Britain’s future access to the EU market could remain unclear for some time to come.

“The current shortage of tech talent is a strategic issue for the UK’s financial and related professional services industry, yet little has been done to quantify our current and future skills need,” said Nathan Bostock, chief executive of Santander UK bank and chair of TheCityUK’s working group on trade and investment.

(Reporting by Huw Jones; Editing by Mark Potter)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: The SoftBank Group logo displayed at the SoftBank World 2017 conference in Tokyo
FILE PHOTO: The logo of SoftBank Group Corp is displayed at SoftBank World 2017 conference in Tokyo, Japan, July 20, 2017. REUTERS/Issei Kato

March 18, 2019

(Reuters) – Chip designer Nvidia Corp said on Monday it has partnered with Softbank Group Corp and LG Uplus Corp to deploy cloud gaming servers in Japan and Korea later this year.

Nvidia makes graphics chips for PCs and laptops that help video games look more realistic. Now the company is putting those same chips inside servers in data centers so that gamers who do not have an Nvidia chip in their computer can stream games from the data center.

Nvidia said at a conference in San Jose, California, that it has created a “pod” of its graphics cards that can support up to 10,000 gamers streaming games at once.

The company said Softbank and LG Uplus would use the cards for services to let customers stream games over 5G networks, the next generation of wireless data networks.

(Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco and Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru; editing by G Crosse)

Source: OANN

Amber Athey | White House Correspondent

Twitter claimed it “mistakenly remove[d]” a tweet from The Federalist co-founder Sean Davis about Lisa Page’s congressional testimony Monday but denied employing “shadow banning” tactics against users.

Davis tweeted out a portion of the former FBI lawyer’s testimony last week but soon noticed that the tweet was not appearing for other users, despite still being visible when he was logged into his own account.

On Monday, Twitter Support confirmed to Davis that they mistakenly removed the tweet, writing in an email, “Our priority is to keep people safe on Twitter. As part of that work, we sometimes mistakenly remove content that doesn’t break our rules.”

“When those mistakes happen, we work quickly to fix them,” the tech company added. “We have corrected the issue.”

Twitter did not preemptively inform Davis that action was taken on the tweet, nor did they indicate why it was initially removed. Davis noted that Twitter also did not explain why he was still able to see the tweet when he was logged into his account, even while it was removed for other users.

“Is conning users a bug, or a feature?” Davis questioned.

When tweets are removed for violations, Twitter uses one of three enforcement options: limiting the tweet visibility, requiring tweet removal, and hiding a tweet while waiting for a user to remove it.

A person familiar with the situation told The Daily Caller that removing the tweet was an “error,” but a Twitter spokesperson denied that the company ever uses “shadow banning” as an enforcement method.

“Shadow banning” refers to situations where an account and/or its content is suppressed without the user’s knowledge.

“Twitter does not engage in bias and we categorically do not enforce so-called ‘shadow banning‘ tactics. Period,” Twitter told the Caller. “We enforce the Twitter Rules dispassionately and equally for all users, regardless of their background or political affiliation. We are constantly working to improve our systems and will continue to be transparent in our effort.”

Twitter has faced allegations of shadow banning before, most prominently this past fall when several Republican congressmen’s accounts were suppressed in Twitter search results. (RELATED: Twitter Algorithm Buried Republicans For Something Totally Out Of Their Control)

Republican Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz announced at the time that he was bringing a Federal Election Commission (FEC) complaint against the company, and Republican California Rep. Devin Nunes was said to be exploring legal options.

On Monday, Nunes filed a lawsuit seeking over $250 million in damages from Twitter for allegedly “shadow-banning conservatives” and systematically censoring opposing viewpoints.

Follow Amber on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

Graeme Gallagher | Contributor

In new research done by NASA, more than half of the astronauts who traveled to the International Space Station (ISS) and on space shuttles had dormant herpes and other viruses reactivate, reports CNN.

The testing, which was published in Frontiers in Microbiology, showed that the longer astronauts stayed in space, the more likely that these viruses will flare up. This new discovery could spell danger for longer missions, such as a mission to Mars.

Blood, urine and saliva samples were collected from these astronauts before, during and after spaceflight. The virus “shedding,” which is when it successfully reactivates, occurred most during the flight itself, according to the research. (RELATED: Trump’s Space Policy Boils Down To Going To Mars)

Members of the International Space Station (ISS) expedition 59/60, NASA astronauts Christina Hammock Koch (L) and Nick Hague (R) and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin, pose at the end of a press conference at the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on March 13, 2019. (KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)

Members of the International Space Station (ISS) expedition 59/60, NASA astronauts Christina Hammock Koch (L) and Nick Hague (R) and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin, pose at the end of a press conference at the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on March 13, 2019. (KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images)

“To date, 47 out of 89 (53%) astronauts on short space shuttle flights, and 14 out of 23 (61%) on longer ISS missions shed herpes viruses in their saliva or urine samples,” wrote Satish K. Mehta, the lead study author. “These frequencies —  as well as the quantity — of viral shedding are markedly higher than in samples before or after flight, or from matched healthy controls.”

For the same reason that viruses reactivate on Earth, constant exposure to stress is the culprit for these viruses in astronauts. While in space flight, the release of stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline, increase in astronauts. These same hormones are known to suppress the immune system, leading to the viruses being more susceptible to reactivation.

“NASA astronauts endure weeks or even months exposed to microgravity and cosmic radiation —  not to mention the extreme G forces of take-off and re-entry,” said Mehta in a press release. “This physical challenge is compounded by more familiar stressors like social separation, confinement and an altered sleep-wake cycle.”

“In keeping with this, we find that astronaut’s immune cells — particularly those that normally suppress and eliminate viruses — become less effective during spaceflight and sometimes for up to 60 days after,” said Mehta.

Members of the International Space Station (ISS) expedition 54/55, NASA astronaut Scott Tingle (L), Roscosmos cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov (C) and Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) shake hands before their final exam at the Gagarin Cosmonauts' Training Centre in Star City outside Moscow on November 29, 2017. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Members of the International Space Station (ISS) expedition 54/55, NASA astronaut Scott Tingle (L), Roscosmos cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov (C) and Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) shake hands before their final exam at the Gagarin Cosmonauts’ Training Centre in Star City outside Moscow on November 29, 2017. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Even though the viruses re-emerged, it did not necessarily lead to the return of the symptoms. Of the 89 astronauts, only six had herpes breakouts in space, in which “all were minor.” (RELATED: NASA Successfully Lands Deep-Drilling Insight Lander On Mars)

However, the viruses affecting the astronauts have implications for infecting others, such as newborns, as chickenpox and shingles were still apparent in their bodies 30 days after the flight returned.

The discovery poses a new threat for long-term trips in space, especially as NASA plans for new trips to the moon and Mars. A round-trip mission to Mars is estimated to take up to three years.

“The magnitude, frequency and duration of viral shedding all increase with length of spaceflight,” said Mehta.

International Space Station over the planet Earth. Elements of this image furnished by NASA. (Vadim Sadovski/Shutterstock.com)

International Space Station over the planet Earth. Elements of this image furnished by NASA. (Vadim Sadovski/Shutterstock.com)

The ideal solution for the problem would be vaccines for the astronauts; however, this has only proved successful against chicken pox. As the trials for other herpes vaccines have shown minimal promise, researchers are focused on finding “targeted treatment regimens” for the individual astronauts, which has already found success for patients on Earth. (RELATED: 10-Year Study Of More Than 650,000 People Releases Report On Measles Vaccine And Autism)

“This research has tremendous clinical relevance for patients on Earth, too,” explained Mehta. “Already, our spaceflight-developed technologies for rapid viral detection in saliva have been employed in clinics and hospitals around the world.”

The Trump administration’s 2020 budget proposal for NASA contained the funds necessary to fulfill President Donald Trump’s Space Policy Directive 1, which calls for a return to the moon and a trip to Mars.

Source: The Daily Caller

FILE PHOTO: Intel's logo is pictured during preparations at the CeBit computer fair in Hanover
FILE PHOTO: Intel’s logo is pictured during preparations at the CeBit computer fair, which will open its doors to the public on March 20, at the fairground in Hanover, Germany, March 19, 2017. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

March 18, 2019

By Stephen Nellis

(Reuters) – A U.S. government-led group is working with chipmaker Intel Corp and Cray Inc to develop and build the nation’s fastest computer by 2021 for conducting nuclear weapons and other research, officials said on Monday.

The Department of Energy and the Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago said they are working on a supercomputer dubbed Aurora with Intel, the world’s biggest supplier of data center chips, and Cray, which specializes in the ultra-fast machines.

The $500 million contract for the project calls on the companies to deliver a computer with so-called exaflop performance – that is, being able to perform 1 quintillion – or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 – calculations per second.

If the project succeeds, Aurora would represent nearly an order of magnitude leap over existing machines that feature so-called petaflop performance, capable of doing 1 quadrillion, or 1,000,000,000,000,000 – calculations a second.

It also heightens the stakes in a race in which the United States, China, the European Union, and Japan have all announced plans to build exaflop-capable supercomputers.

One of Aurora’s primary functions would be simulating nuclear blasts, a pillar of weapons development since the ban of live detonation testings.

Aurora will be built with artificial intelligence capabilities for projects such as developing better battery materials and helping the Veterans Administration prevent suicides, Rick Stevens, an associate lab director with Argonne overseeing the exascale computing project, said during a news briefing.

The project is a win for Intel, which will supply its Xeon CPU chips and Optane memory chips for Aurora.

Intel has been fending off rival U.S. chipmaker Nvidia Corp’s rise in the chip content of supercomputers as the machines take on more artificial intelligence work. Nvidia’s chips are found in five of the world’s current top-10 supercomputers, though the Nvidia chips are found alongside chips from its rivals, according to TOP500, which ranks the machines.

The world’s current most powerful machine, the Summit supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, contains chips from International Business Machines Corp and Nvidia.

The source of chips for supercomputers has become a factor in trade tensions between the United States and China. The world’s third-fastest supercomputer – the Sunway TaihuLight in China – has chips developed domestically in China.

Chirag Dekate, an analyst with Gartner who studies the supercomputing market, said that despite the small contract size relative to Intel’s overall revenue, the work done on Aurora will eventually filter down to the company’s commercial customers.

“It’s not just a jingoistic race between the U.S. and China,” Dekate said. “The innovations that Intel is developing here will percolate down to other parts of its business.”

(Reporting by Stephen Nellis; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

Source: OANN

The logo of Sanofi is pictured during the Viva Tech start-up and technology summit in Paris
FILE PHOTO: The logo of Sanofi is pictured during the Viva Tech start-up and technology summit in Paris, France, May 25, 2018. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

March 18, 2019

PARIS (Reuters) – Sanofi is working on a succession plan to find a new CEO in agreement and consultation with current Chief Executive Olivier Brandicourt, a spokesman with the French drugmaker told Reuters on Monday.

Sanofi has set an age limit for its CEO job at 65. Brandicourt will be 65 in February 2021.

“It is the responsibility of any company’s board of directors to consider and plan for the succession of its CEO and executive committee members by identifying the next set of future leaders,” a spokesman told Reuters.

“With this perspective, the board has been considering this succession plan for some time now, in agreement and consultation with our CEO,” he added.

(Reporting by Matthias Blamont; Editing by Georgina Prodhan)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Frans Timmermans, the newly elected Party of European Socialists President, speaks during the Party of European Socialists annual meeting in Lisbon
FILE PHOTO: Frans Timmermans, the newly elected Party of European Socialists President, speaks during the Party of European Socialists annual meeting in Lisbon, Portugal, December 8, 2018. REUTERS/Pedro Nunes/File Photo

March 18, 2019

BERLIN (Reuters) – The European Union and authorities around the world will have to regulate big technology and social media companies at some stage to protect citizens, the deputy head of the European Commission said on Monday.

First Vice President Frans Timmermans said introducing regulations would work better if online platforms, such as Google and Facebook, worked with authorities.

Big tech has been criticized by politicians in the United States and Europe over issues ranging from Facebook’s losing track of users’ data to how Google ranks search results.

“At some point, we will have to regulate,” Timmermans told the World Policy Forum in Berlin. “The first task of any public authority is to protect its citizens – and if we see you (tech giants) as a threat to our citizens, we will regulate and if you don’t work with us, we will probably regulate badly.”

Last month, the EU accused Alphabet’s Google, Facebook and Twitter of falling short of promises to combat fake news before the European Parliament elections in May, after they signed a voluntary code of conduct to stave off regulation.

Facebook said on Monday it would increase efforts to fight misinformation before the vote and would partner with German news agency DPA to boost fact checking.

Friday’s massacre in New Zealand has put social media giants in the spotlight. The assault in Christchurch was live-streamed by an attacker through his Facebook profile for 17 minutes, according to a copy seen by Reuters. Facebook said it removed the stream after being alerted by police.

Timmermans said pressure for regulation would come from beyond Europe. “I think globally there will be a call to regulate,” he said.

(Reporting by Paul Carrel; Editing by Edmund Blair)

Source: OANN

It is "predictable and outrageous" that people would try to connect President Donald Trump with the person who murdered Muslim worshippers in New Zealand, presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway said Monday.

"This president condemns hate and evil and bigotry," Conway told Fox News' "Fox and Friends." "We will continue to do so. People should feel safe, but especially feel safe in their place s of worship. We've seen far too often where this is not the case."

The shooting suspect's manifesto mentioned Trump "as a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose." Conway said Monday he compared his motivations to those of a shooter in Norway in 2011, and saA New Zealand shooting suspect's manifesto gave support to President Trump "as a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose,"

Instead, people should focus on what authorities are saying, said Conway.

"Tech companies are struggling not to be a platform for hate and evil in the first place," said Conway. "Murder was live-streamed. This guy wanted attention, [being a] rotten, evil, hateful person who wanted to kill people and live-streamed it."

The White House stands with "our Muslim brothers and sisters," said Conway.

She also defended Chelsea Clinton, after the former president's daughter was blamed for the deaths over the weekend because she had denounced anti-Semitism.

"She should not have been yelled at by those people and blamed for the massacre any more than any other people should be exempt for the evil, pathetic, horrible, hateful man who did this," said Conway.

Source: NewsMax

It is "predictable and outrageous" people would try to connect President Donald Trump with the person who murdered Muslim worshippers in New Zealand, presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway said Monday.

"This president condemns hate and evil and bigotry," Conway told Fox News' "Fox & Friends." "We will continue to do so. People should feel safe, but especially feel safe in their places of worship. We've seen far too often where this is not the case."

The shooting suspect's manifesto mentioned Trump "as a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose." Conway said Monday he compared his motivations to those of the shooter in the 2011 terror attacks.

Instead, people should focus on what authorities are saying, Conway said.

"Tech companies are struggling not to be a platform for hate and evil in the first place," Conway said. "Murder was live-streamed. This guy wanted attention, [being a] rotten, evil, hateful person who wanted to kill people and live-streamed it."

The White House stands with "our Muslim brothers and sisters," Conway said.

She also defended Chelsea Clinton, after the former president's daughter was blamed for the deaths over the weekend because she had denounced anti-Semitism.

"She should not have been yelled at by those people and blamed for the massacre any more than any other people should be exempt for the evil, pathetic, horrible, hateful man who did this," Conway said.

Source: NewsMax

FILE PHOTO: A man speaks on his mobile phone as he walks past a closed shop painted with an advertisement of Reliance Communications in Mumbai
FILE PHOTO: A man speaks on his mobile phone as he walks past a closed shop painted with an advertisement of Reliance Communications in Mumbai, India, January 29, 2018. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade/File Photo

March 18, 2019

(Reuters) – Swedish telecom equipment maker Ericsson has received 4.62 billion rupees ($67.42 million) from Indian telecoms firm Reliance Communications Ltd (RCom), a spokeswoman for Ericsson said on Monday.

Late last month, India’s top court had ordered Anil Ambani’s RCom and two of its directors to pay Ericsson 4.5 billion rupees within four weeks or face a three-month jail term for contempt of court.

RCom owes a total 5.71 billion rupees to Ericsson, including a one-time settlement of 5.5 billion rupees and interest payments of 210 million rupees.

(Reporting by Krishna V Kurup in Bengaluru; Editing by Shreejay Sinha)

Source: OANN

The company logo for Xerox is displayed on a screen on the floor of the NYSE in New York
FILE PHOTO: The company logo for Xerox is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., March 11, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

March 18, 2019

(Reuters) – Xerox Corp on Monday said it is exploring the possibility of a “strategic transaction” involving its customer financing business.

Reuters reported last July that Xerox was considering the sale of a leasing unit that lends money to customers to rent printers and equipment. [https://bit.ly/2O9klBP]

(Reporting by Sonam Rai and Sayanti Chakraborty in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

Source: OANN

Illustration photo of the Dianrong logo
FILE PHOTO: Illustration photo of the Dianrong logo on the company’s website April 13, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas White/Illustration

March 18, 2019

By Shu Zhang

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Dianrong, one of China’s biggest peer-to-peer (P2P) lenders which is laying off staff and shutting stores, blamed the government for its troubles saying the absence of clear-cut policies was proving to be a heavy burden.

“Some people wonder why Dianrong’s growth has slowed in the past two years. It was not because we did not want to or could not grow. It was because we were told not to grow,” Guo Yuhang, Dianrong’s co-founder, said in an internal memo seen by Reuters.

“While the industry has expanded quickly to a large and complex scale over the years, regulatory directions keep changing and different regions have different rules,” Guo said, in rare criticism of policy-making in China.

Dianrong was shutting down 60 of its 90 offline stores and laying off an estimated 2,000 employees, Reuters reported earlier this month.

The Shanghai-based company was co-founded by Soul Htite, who was also behind U.S. online lender LendingClub Corp, and is backed by Singapore sovereign fund GIC Pte Ltd and Standard Chartered Private Equity.

Beijing’s multi-year crackdown on risky lending practices and excessive leverage have caused a wave of P2P collapses and triggered protests by angry investors who lost their savings.

“Grey rhino” risks, or highly obvious yet ignored threats, are on the rise, including risks from internet finance such as P2P lenders, a central bank official wrote in an official publication on Monday.

The industry could face a fresh wave of regulatory scrutiny after several fintech companies were slammed by state-run CCTV during the country’s annual consumer rights day TV show on Friday.

Dianrong, which expanded rapidly in 2017-2018 in a loose regulatory environment, had to cut back in the second half of last year, Guo said in the memo.

He added that many highly promising businesses Dianrong developed as part of its aggressive expansion have turned into “heavy burdens with unbearable high costs” for the company as regulations unexpectedly tightened.

The company’s outstanding transaction volume has shrunk to 10 billion yuan ($1.49 billion) from its peak of 14 billion yuan, Guo said. Some employees were not paid for two months, he said.

China’s central bank has yet to respond to a faxed request seeking comment.

The central bank said earlier this month that it would gradually set up a system of rules to regulate fintech and cultivate conditions conducive to the development of the industry.

“We hope regulators can give the industry a clear, and definite timetable, and give guidance and a ray of hope for companies that stick to compliance,” Guo said in the memo.

“The situation of the industry shows that the one-size-fits-all rule will definitely curb innovative businesses.”

Guo did not comment further when contacted by Reuters.

(Reporting by Shu Zhang; Writing by Samuel Shen and Ryan Woo; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: A Singtel logo is pictured at their head office in Singapore
FILE PHOTO: A Singtel logo is pictured at their head office in Singapore February 11, 2016. Singtel releases their quarterly results on Friday. REUTERS/Edgar Su

March 18, 2019

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Singapore Telecommunications Ltd said on Monday it has signed a partnership to enable the use of its cross-border mobile wallet platform in Japan, as the telecom operator moves ahead with its digital payments expansion.

The partnership with NETSTARS, a Tokyo-based mobile payment technology company, will allow travelers to use their home mobile wallets on Singtel’s VIA network to pay digitally at stores in Japan – a popular destination for Southeast Asians.

Singtel, Southeast Asia’s largest telecom operator, is keen to expand beyond its traditional carrier services into areas such as digital marketing, cybersecurity, mobile payments and video streaming.

Southeast Asia, where a chunk of the 650-million population is underbanked, is becoming a crowded market for mobile payments. Singtel wants to stand out by permitting users to be able to pay with their e-wallets outside their home country.

Singtel plans to expand the mobile wallet alliance to India, the Philippines and Indonesia.

“With scale we will, over time, be able to convert payments into multiple uses,” said Arthur Lang, CEO of Singtel’s International Group, adding the company could look to provide more financial services.

Singtel’s Thai associate Advanced Info Service Pcl (AIS) is part of VIA network; and it recently signed an agreement with the digital services arm of Malaysia’s Axiata Group Berhad.

Including its regional associates, the telecom operator has a mobile customer base of over 675 million.

(Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

Source: OANN


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