The brief, contentious engagement of Amazon and New York City ended abruptly this week, with Amazon deciding that its choice of New York as a site for a new headquarters was not right after all, and that what the company had wanted wasn’t in the cards.
The unveiling of a Green New Deal last week provoked a mix of enthusiasm and derision. For each voice embracing the radical vision to decarbonize the American economy within a decade, there was another voice decrying the plan as economically unrealistic, technologically impossible, and politically untenable.
The government shutdown dominated the news these past weeks, but far more consequential were proposals floated by newly minted presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren and freshman representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to significantly raise taxes on the very rich.
Surveying the reactions to the latest revelation that Facebook played fast and loose with user data, it was hard not to harken back to what Scott McNally, the founding CEO of Sun Microsystems, told a group of reporters, including one from WIRED, in 1999: “You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it.”
The past three months have not been kind to large public technology companies. Amid crescendos of criticism about monopolistic power, these companies saw their market value plummet. The rampant selling has leveled off, at least for the moment, so it’s an opportune time to ask: What comes next?
Big companies attract big attention, and none quite as much as Apple. Its quarterly reports have become something of a collective soothsaying moment for stock markets and the tech industry, and so Thursday’s report garnered its usual share of outsized attention.
ELON MUSK HAS long established himself as a both a visionary CEO and a lightning rod for attention, good and bad. The bad reared its head dramatically this week as the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Musk with securities fraud for misleading investors with August tweets about taking Tesla private.
Amazon briefly touched $1 trillion in market capitalization on Tuesday, barely a month after Apple topped $1 trillion. The companies share the letter A and 12 zeros, but the similarity largely ends there.
So it finally happened. Apple announced stellar quarterly earnings; investors liked them; the stock rose; and Apple became the first US company to surpass $1 trillion in market value. In our love for big numbers, that made it a big story.
In the latest installment of the simmering trade war, the Trump administration reportedly plans to impose restrictions on Chinese investments in US technology companies and American technology exports to China. If implemented as rumored, any company with more than 25 percent Chinese ownership
So, about that trade war. Recent days have presented a dizzying series of reversals followed by reversals of reversals over whether, when, or if the United States will impose punitive tariffs on China in response to unresolved issues, ranging from intellectual property theft to lack of access
Wall Street and Silicon Valley have never been happy bedfellows, and that was on full display this week during Tesla’s quarterly earnings call. These calls are usually dull affairs, with CEOs or CFOs reading a prepared script summarizing the already-released financial results and articulating
As public attitudes towards Silicon Valley and Big Tech continue their rapid pivot from admiration to vilification, the current occupant of the White House has sought to lead the chorus. Several weeks ago, he launched a tweet-driven crusade against Amazon and CEO Jeff Bezos, accusing the company of ripping off the US Postal Service and harming
Last week, the White House announced plans to levy tariffs on up to $60 billion of Chinese imports. The primary, and legal, rationale hinges on the little-used Section 301 of a 1974 trade law that permits retaliation against countries that infringe US intellectual-property rights.
PETER THIEL, NEVER one to keep a low profile, made his most recent set of waves with reports that he is prepared to decamp from Silicon Valley to more benign haunts in Los Angeles along with several of his companies. His rationale, according to a piece in the Wall Street Journal, is that the Valley is
As if there wasn’t enough angst in the world, what with the Washington soap opera, #MeToo, false nuclear alerts, and a general sense of apprehension, now we also have a growing sense of alarm about how smartphones and their applications are impacting children.
Last week’s repeal of net neutrality regulations by the Federal Communications Commission generated considerable controversy. Many characterized the decision as a win for telecom and cable companies at the expense of both consumers and content companies.
From in immemorial, rulers have built new cities to satisfy everything from security to vanity. Some of those cities crumbled into obsolescence; others blossomed into capitals of legend. The recipe for success remains elusive, but that hasn’t stopped successive generations from trying. And if recent moves are any gauge
The “gig economy” is hardly new, but there’s still a yawning gap between the attention it receives and our understanding of how it is—or isn’t—altering the nature of work in America. It may be a Bay Area joke that everyone is either working in the valley or for Task Rabbit, and Uber may be the world’s most valuable startup,
The financial industry today looks stable and boring, with a few megabanks ever-more entrenched and markets that may not offer the same risks and rewards as before the 2008-2009 financial crisis but which remain highly profitable for incumbents. That stasis, however, masks looming challenges to the sclerotic incumbents. Two such challenges were much in evidence this past week: Bitcoin and China.
During her speech to the National Association of Business Economics on Tuesday, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen made a rather startling admission: The Fed may have “misspecified” its models for inflation and “misjudged” the strength of wages and the job market.
For years, the ascent of tech has broadly been viewed as positive, heralding an era of increased productivity and greater communication. But recently, the litany of corporate missteps and a general sense of power accreting to a few extraordinarily rich and powerful companies and the men–yes, largely men–who lead them has triggered a wave of criticisms of the once-Teflon culture of the Valley.
Bitcoin: Fad or the future? The question has dogged the digital currency since its inception nearly a decade ago, and recent developments raise it anew. Last week, a new variant of bitcoin emerged via a “fork” in its underlying code, threatening to confuse and divide the still-small world of bitcoin adherents.
News that Amazon intends to buy Whole Foods Market for more than $13 billion was greeted jubilantly by financial markets, with Amazon’s stock rising 2.5 percent, almost enough to cover the entire purchase. At the same time, the shares of other grocery retailers, ranging from Kroger’s to Walmart,
After this weekend’s attacks in London, President Trump became embroiled in a spat with the city’s mayor, where the president criticized British authorities for not taking the threat of terrorism seriously enough. In its crude way, that confrontation underscored a deeper divide between the United States and much of the rest of the world over what taking terrorism seriously means.
APPLE JUST BECAME the first US company to surpass $800 billion in market capitalization. Speculation quickly followed that Apple would soon become the first $1 trillion company, with a rumored $1,000 iPhone 8 coming at year’s end. The company’s share price has been on a tear since the beginning of the year, and sales of the iPhone 7
The Circle, a film adaptation of the best-selling novel by David Eggers about a mega-Silicon Valley company that has sinister plans to control the world, opened recently to tepid reviews and unimpressive box office. That shouldn’t obscure the fact that the issues it attempts to address—and which the novel brilliantly took on—are ones that need to be dealt with, urgently.
The world finds itself in an age saturated with anxiety—at least, that’s the sense created by the daily deluge of news portraying a grim present of economic hardship, global tensions, terrorism, and political upheaval. The five-year-old site Upworthy doesn’t want you to see the world that way.
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