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Will Buybacks Propel Booking Holdings' Stock Price?
Growth is slowing, but the company is using cash flow to buy back gobs of its stock.Sun, 18 Aug 2019 13:15:00 +0000Read more
Trump’s Dinner Guest on Friday Will Be Apple’s CEO Tim Cook
(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly lashed out at technology giants and their leaders, announced on Friday evening that he would be dining with Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook.“Having dinner tonight with Tim Cook of Apple,” Trump, who is staying at his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, wrote on Twitter. “They will be spending vast sums of money in the U.S. Great!”He did not elaborate, and Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the meeting.Heads of other major technology companies, including Amazon.com Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc. have not fared as well in the president’s tweets and public remarks.He and his political allies have made unsupported claims that social media companies muzzle conservative views. Trump has assailed Amazon for edging out brick-and-mortar retailers and criticized its founder Jeff Bezos, who owns the Washington Post.Pressure on tech companies is increasing in Washington as congressional Republicans examine accusations of bias against conservatives; Democrats in the House conduct an antitrust inquiry and officials at the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission divvy up oversight of Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon.Earlier this week, FTC Chairman Joe Simons said in an interview that he wouldn’t let Trump’s complaints about the size and political inclinations of large technology platforms affect his agency’s decisions.Cook visited the White House in June to discuss the Trump administration’s efforts to develop job training programs that meet the changing demands of U.S. employers. The meeting was part of the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board, a working group that includes many corporate leaders. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Trump’s daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump unveiled the initiative earlier this year.\--With assistance from Alistair Barr.To contact the reporter on this story: John Harney in Washington at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Kevin Whitelaw at firstname.lastname@example.org, John HarneyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.Sat, 17 Aug 2019 00:00:06 +0000Read more
Touch-Screens in Cars Don’t Make Us Safer – Yet
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Two years ago, 10 sailors died when the U.S. Navy’s guided missile destroyer USS John S. McCain collided with a chemical tanker off Singapore. An investigation has determined that insufficient training and inadequate operating procedures were to blame, and both factors were related to a new touch-screen-based helm control system. The Navy has decided to revert its destroyers back to entirely physical throttles and helm controls.It’s worth exploring the Navy’s rationale for installing touch-screens (“Just because you can doesn’t mean you should,” says Rear Admiral Bill Galinis), as well as its rationale for getting rid of them:Galinis said that bridge design is something that shipbuilders have a lot of say in, as it’s not covered by any particular specification that the Navy requires builders to follow. As a result of innovation and a desire to incorporate new technology, “we got away from the physical throttles, and that was probably the number-one feedback from the fleet – they said, just give us the throttles that we can use.”There are lessons here — including a prescient one from 50 years ago — for other, more mundane transport-control interfaces as well.Large, interactive touch-screens are becoming increasingly prevalent in passenger cars; in the case of Tesla, they’re the only control interface. They’re lovely to look at, but as the Navy’s experience suggests, they might be more confusing than physical controls. That confusion isn’t academic, either: Distracted driving is an increasingly dangerous problem. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 10% of all fatal crashes from 2012 to 2017 involved distracted drivers. Mobile phones are a major cause of distraction, as we’d expect, but they’re an even bigger problem for younger drivers.Almost 50 years ago, robotics professor Masahiro Mori wrote an extraordinary essay, “The Uncanny Valley,” on people’s reactions to robots as they became more and more humanlike. As Mori said, our affinity for robots rises as they more closely resemble humans. That affinity plunges, becoming negative and finally rising again once a robot reaches the (possibly unattainable) full likeness of a human being.Something similar is at work in our current touch-screen-filled vehicles. To an extent, adding more screen real estate give us more information, and with it more safety — until it begins to provide an overwhelming amount of information and an overly complex set of choices for visual navigation. And moving from one information-rich interface to another is increasingly difficult, as another Navy rear admiral said in reviewing the John S. McCain collision:When you look at a screen, where do you find heading? Is it in the same place, or do you have to hunt every time you go to a different screen? So the more commonality we can drive into these kind of human-machine interfaces, the better it is for the operator to quickly pick up what the situational awareness is, whatever aspect he’s looking at, whether it’s helm control, radar pictures, whatever. So we’re trying to drive that.There are two ways our in-car screens could evolve. The first is that, for safety’s sake, they’ll move back down the curve, so to speak, and be less ambiguous and more full of knobs and dials and physical throttles. That’s the Navy’s new approach. The second, though, is that we won’t go back, at least in passenger applications, to a more tactile interface of specific controls. We’re probably going to get more screens, with more information. Maybe the only way out of this valley is to shift the interface completely to voice or, in the very long run, to obviate the issue by having cars drive themselves. That could be how we navigate this uncanny valley of vehicle interfaces — the removal of any need to control the vehicle at all, and the chance to fill our cars’ screens with pure entertainment. Weekend readingA greener energy industry is testing investors’ ability to adapt. One coal CEO says “make money while you can” in an industry that is in terminal decline. The venture capital arm of Royal Dutch Shell Plc has invested in Corvus Energy, a maritime and offshore battery systems company. America’s obsession with beef is killing leather. A look at how Phoenix comes alive at night, and how other cities might too in a hotter world. An exploration of how extreme climate change has arrived in America. The Anthropocene is a joke. On a geological time scale, human civilization is an event, not an epoch. Three years of misery inside Google, the happiest company in tech. Here’s what happens when Apple Inc. locks you out of its walled garden after fraud suspicions. Machine vision can spot unknown links between classic artworks. When Midwest startups sell, their hometown schools often lose. A programmer in California got a “NULL” vanity license plate in the hopes that the word would not compute in a database of traffic offenders. Instead, he was fined $12,049. Robert Ballard, discoverer of the Titanic, is exploring a startling clue that may help him find Amelia Earhart’s plane. Bugatti’s one-off La Voiture Noire debuted at the Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance. It’s already been sold, for $18.68 million. Bloomberg Businessweek’s Peter Coy looks back on the 40 years since the magazine declared “ the death of equities.” Get Sparklines delivered to your inbox. Sign up here. And subscribe to Bloomberg All Access and get much, much more. You’ll receive our unmatched global news coverage and two in-depth daily newsletters, the Bloomberg Open and the Bloomberg Close.To contact the author of this story: Nathaniel Bullard at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Brooke Sample at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Nathaniel Bullard is a BloombergNEF energy analyst, covering technology and business model innovation and system-wide resource transitions.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.Fri, 16 Aug 2019 18:23:25 +0000Read more
Why You Should Invest In International Stocks
Especially if you're an American investor, chances are good that you'd benefit from more international diversification.Fri, 16 Aug 2019 17:06:00 +0000Read more
ESG Investing: Is Microsoft a Responsible Investment?
If you’re searching for a feel-good stock, see how Microsoft, the world's largest company, scores on The Motley Fool’s ESG framework.Fri, 16 Aug 2019 15:42:00 +0000Read more