Apple CEO Tim Cook says the US government should let people track and delete their data ‘on demand’

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) should implement a new framework that increases transparency around companies that handle user data and lets people track and delete information on them « on demand. » div > div.group > p:first-child »> Cook, in a Time magazine op-ed published Wednesday, said the FTC should form what he called a « data-broker clearinghouse, » evoking the image of a financial clearing house used for the exchange of payments, securities and other transactions in markets. In the article, Cook…

Slack has a new logo because the last one was ‘simply awful’

Office messaging app Slack is changing its logo because it says the current one « pained » the company and was « simply awful. » div > div.group > p:first-child »> It will no longer use the colorful hashtag that it used when it launched in 2013 and has instead designed a four-color logo using lozenge and speech bubble shapes. While the company says it liked elements of its original logo, its 11 colors made it very easy to get wrong, the firm said in a blog post Wednesday. «…

Facebook takes down hundreds of fake accounts and pages linked to Russia

Facebook has removed hundreds of fake pages and accounts linked to Russian operations, the company has confirmed. div > div.group > p:first-child »> In a blog post published Thursday, Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, Nathaniel Gleicher, said the company had removed « multiple pages, groups and accounts that engaged in coordinated inauthentic behavior on Facebook and Instagram. » Gleicher said the fake accounts were part of two separate operations, both originating in Russia. One was linked to employees at Sputnik, a Russian news agency based in Moscow. The operation included…

‘Smoooth Dogg’: Snoop Dogg just backed a Swedish online payments unicorn

Snoop Dogg is better known for his work in the music business — but the U.S. rapper is now throwing his weight behind fintech. div > div.group > p:first-child »> Swedish online payments firm Klarna said Thursday that Snoop Dogg had invested in the business and would promote it as part of a new marketing campaign. Klarna, known for its « Smoooth Payments » slogan, has dubbed the 47-year-old music artist « Smoooth Dogg » as part of the campaign. A video ad posted to Klarna’s YouTube channel shows the…

Elon Musk says Tesla is ending its customer referral program as it’s costing too much

Tesla’s customer referral program will come to an end on Feb. 1, chief executive Elon Musk said in a tweet Thursday. div > div.group > p:first-child »> The initiative lets drivers give their friends a referral code to get six months of free charging via Tesla’s Supercharger network. Tweet Musk said the move was aimed at reducing costs incurred by the scheme. « It’s adding too much cost to the cars, especially Model 3, » he said. Tweet The premium electric auto manufacturer has made a number of cost-cutting moves…

Everything you need to know about the Fourth Industrial Revolution

The Fourth Industrial Revolution will take center stage at the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual meeting next week in Davos, Switzerland. div > div.group > p:first-child »> The concept, a theme of Davos this year, refers to how a combination of technologies are changing the way we live, work and interact. Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the Geneva-based WEF, published a book in 2016 titled « The Fourth Industrial Revolution » and coined the term at the Davos meeting that year. Schwab argued a technological revolution is underway…

Google raises prices on its competitor to Microsoft Office for the first time in a decade

Google is raising prices for the basic enterprise and small business versions of its G Suite productivity apps, like Gmail and Docs, for the first time. div > div.group > p:first-child »> The 20 percent price increase comes soon after the appointment of Thomas Kurian, a former Oracle executive, as the head of Google’s Cloud division. While the news that Kurian would replace former CEO Diane Greene was announced last November, he only formally took on the role this year. The price bumps — from $5 to $6 per user…

Apple is reportedly planning to cut back on hiring as iPhone sales weaken

Apple will slow hiring for some divisions amid disappointing iPhone sales, Bloomberg reported Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter. div > div.group > p:first-child »> The sources told Bloomberg that CEO Tim Cook told employees about the slowdown a day after he sent a letter to investors warning of lackluster sales, particularly in China. Cook has not yet decided which divisions would be impacted by the hiring drop off, Bloomberg reported. Shares of Apple edged lower in after-hours trading. Apple declined to comment to CNBC. Earlier this month, Apple…

Fake BlackRock communications are a master class in spoofing and social engineering

An unknown party sent out a letter touting BlackRock CEO Laurence D. Fink’s newfound dedication to environmental causes. A press release quickly followed, debunking the hoax email and also saying such a move wouldn’t be good for the BlackRock’s « short-term profitability. » A BlackRock website was set up to house both these communications. Major media outlets, including CNBC.com and The Financial Times, quickly picked up on the news. div > div.group > p:first-child »> None of it was real. The entire incident offers a masterclass in spoofing and the…

Amazon is on a hiring spree in India, even as new restrictions on foreign sellers loom

Amazon could soon face a tighter market in India, as new government restrictions are set to kick in next month. But the company remains undeterred in its India expansion based on at least one measure: job openings. div > div.group > p:first-child »> Amazon currently has 660 open positions in Bengaluru, which is the second most worldwide after Seattle. The southern city of Hyderabad has the eighth-most with over 450 job openings, according to its career site. That also means India has two of the five non-U.S. markets with the…

The Apple TV can do so much more than stream Netflix: Impress your friends with these tricks

You might currently use your Apple TV to stream music, watch Netflix and rent movies. div > div.group > p:first-child »> It’s great for all of those things, but it can also do a lot more. Sometimes you just need to know where to look. By knowing the right settings, the proper Siri commands and a few special apps, you can use your Apple TV for everything from calming down at the end of the day to controlling the lights. Here are some Apple TV tips and tricks to help…

Steve Carell will star in Netflix ‘Space Force’ comedy – as Trump pushes for the real thing

Netflix may beat the White House to creating the first iteration of a military branch in outer space, as the media company announced a new comedy series called « Space Force » on Wednesday. div > div.group > p:first-child »> Steve Carell will be executive producer and co-creator of the series along with Greg Daniels. Carell is expected to make more than $1 million per episode, people familiar told the Hollywood Reporter. « From the guys that brought you the Office, » Netflix said in a teaser tweet for «…

Ex-Apple retail chief: The stock is the best buy you can make ‘for the next decade’

Apple’s former retail chief, Ron Johnson, told CNBC on Wednesday that the tech giant’s stock is still a great bet for investors in the long run. div > div.group > p:first-child »> « I can’t imagine a better buy for your portfolio for the next decade, » said Johnson, founder and current CEO of Enjoy, which aims to merge online convenience with personal shopping services for tech products. A self-professed Apple « fanboy, » Johnson attributes his confidence to the company’s consumer franchise, leadership, cash balance, and great products. He…

Xiaomi, once dubbed the ‘Apple of China,’ has lost 40% of its value since its IPO last year

China’s Xiaomi, once dubbed the « Apple of China, » is in the middle of a months-long rout and facing familiar headwinds in the global smartphone market. div > div.group > p:first-child »> The stock has shed 25 percent this year, plummeting to all-time lows and trading below 10 Hong Kong dollars. The company’s market cap now hovers around $240 billion in Hong Kong dollars, or $30 billion in U.S. dollars. Xiaomi, founded in 2010 in Beijing, rose to impressive market share among global competitors like Huawei, Samsung and Apple.…

New research shows how Iranian hackers have collaborated to become a fearsome hacking force

Iranian hackers have congregated since at least 2002 in online forums to share tips on the best ways to create successful cyberattacks. div > div.group > p:first-child »> Those conversations have given birth to some of the most significant global cybersecurity incidents, including devastating attacks on Saudi Aramco, attacks against the public-facing websites of large banks and espionage campaigns on a wide range of Western targets, according to new research by cybersecurity intelligence firm Recorded Future. Among the findings in the report: A forum called « Ashiyane, » created by…

Apple is in talks with private Medicare plans about bringing its watch to at-risk seniors

Apple has been in talks with at least three private Medicare plans about subsidizing the Apple Watch for people over 65 to use as a health tracker, according to people familiar with the discussions. div > div.group > p:first-child »> The insurers are exploring ways to subsidize the cost of the device for those who can’t afford the $279 price tag, which is the starting cost of an older model. The latest version of the device, which includes the most extensive health features including fall detection and an electrocardiogram to…

Snap nosedives 11% after its CFO unexpectedly resigns less than one year into his job

Snap shares plummeted more than 11 percent in premarket trading Wednesday following the company’s announcement Tuesday that its chief financial officer is resigning after less than a year on the job. div > div.group > p:first-child »> Snap disclosed CFO Tim Stone’s resignation in an SEC filing Tuesday, saying he « has confirmed that this transition is not related to any disagreement with us on any matter relating to our accounting, strategy, management, operations, policies, regulatory matters, or practices (financial or otherwise). » Stone, who started as CFO in May…

YouTube tightens ban on ‘dangerous’ challenges and pranks after ‘Bird Box’ stunts

YouTube will clamp down on content that shows people engaging in dangerous activities or pranks that cause emotional distress. div > div.group > p:first-child »> Google’s video sharing platform published guidelines on Tuesday to address a growing number of « dangerous » trends, including a recent spike in videos showing people attempting the « Bird Box challenge. » Inspired by the Netflix movie « Bird Box, » the challenge involves attempting to perform tasks while blindfolded. It is known to have led to at least one car accident, where a…

This government shutdown is starting to get the IPO market nervous

The government shutdown is starting to get the IPO markets nervous. div > div.group > p:first-child »> There is a robust pipeline for initial public offerings in 2019: Already, 160 companies have filed to go public with the SEC, according to Argus, including big names like the ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft. There is also a backlog of companies that decided not to go public during the market tumult in the fourth quarter of last year. The good news: EDGAR, the SEC’s filing system, is still open, and companies are…

Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s influence grows as automakers roll out electric-vehicle plans in Detroit

Tesla may not be this year’s North American international Auto Show, but it’s easy to feel the influence of Elon Musk’s company on the automakers unveiling new vehicles in Detroit. div > div.group > p:first-child »> From announcing all-electric cars to adding assembly lines specifically for plug-in models, auto executives are ramping up their electric vehicle plans. « There’s no doubt, the auto industry is becoming much more serious about developing electric vehicles driven by the need for emissions compliance in He U.S., China and Europe. » said Michael Robinet,…

Niantic, the company behind PokémonGO has raised a new $245 million funding round

Augmented reality developer Niantic Inc. has raised $245 million in a Series-C funding round led by venture capital firm IVP, the company announced Wednesday. div > div.group > p:first-child »> In 2015, Niantic spun out of Alphabet as an independent, private company with $35 million in Series-A funding from The Pokémon Company Group, Google and Nintendo. Following the launch of Pokémon GO, the company raised $200 million in Series-B funding, led by Spark Capital and included additional investors such as NetEase. This latest round will bring the company’s valuation to…

Private equity giant Apax buys $200 million stake in A.I. firm Fractal, valuing it at $500 million

Indian artificial intelligence (AI) firm Fractal Analytics said Wednesday it raised $200 million from private equity giant Apax Partners. div > div.group > p:first-child »> The capital was raised through the sale of newly issued shares and existing shares owned by investors including Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional and U.S. private equity firm TA Associates. Fractal Analytics, which has offices in New York, London and Mumbai, is now valued at $500 million following the investment, according to a source familiar with the deal who preferred to remain anonymous because…

Cramer Remix: Don’t take your cue on all of retail from Macy’s

Macy’s weaker-than-expected holiday sales results seems to be more of a Macy’s problem than a retail industry problem, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Tuesday. div > div.group > p:first-child »> Shares of the old-line department store operator saw their worst trading day ever after Macy’s reported lower holiday sales for the end of 2018 and slashed its earnings outlook for the year. Management specifically highlighted women’s sportswear, sleepwear, fashion jewelry, fashion watches and cosmetics as areas of weakness. « It gave you the impression of a broad-based slowdown in consumer spending,…

Apple should buy private digital health records operation Epic Systems, says Jim Cramer

It’s no secret that Apple has lofty ambitions in the health-care space. Now, it’s time for the company to make « a big, splashy acquisition » to prove it’s serious, says CNBC’s Jim Cramer. div > div.group > p:first-child »> « Apple has a problem here, » he said Tuesday. « As much as we might love the service revenue stream created by all these apps, including the health-care ones, most investors treat Apple like it’s some kind of hardware company … on the verge of becoming obsolete. » The…

The Microsoft-Walgreens deal is the latest tie-up among two industries that need each other

Amazon is the e-commerce giant, a behemoth in cloud computing and an aspiring player in the pharmacy business. Across those industries, Amazon is scaring everyone, forcing them to partner up to defend themselves. div > div.group > p:first-child »> The latest deal was announced on Tuesday, when drug store chain Walgreens said it’s teaming up with Microsoft for a seven-year agreement that includes exploring digital health opportunities within stores and developing software for managing patient engagement. Last month, Walgreens inked a deal with Verily, Alphabet’s life sciences company, to work…

Snap CFO resigning, company says it will come in near top end of guidance for Q4

Snap chief financial officer Tim Stone is resigning to pursue other opportunities, the company said in a new filing. The stock dropped more than 8 percent after hours on the news. Stone had just joined the company from Amazon in May 2018. div > div.group > p:first-child »> Snap also said that it would post results that are « slightly favorable » to the top end of its previous guidance when it reports its Q4 earnings on February 5. Stone’s departure follows a string of other top-level exits in the…

Apple just announced $129 battery pack cases for its new iPhones

Apple just launched three new smart battery cases for its newest iPhones. It’s the first time Apple has launched a battery case since the one it first began selling for the iPhone 6/iPhone 6s. div > div.group > p:first-child »> The cases are available in either black or white and can be purchased for the iPhone XS, the iPhone XS Max and the iPhone XR. They add additional battery life, but also make the phone a bit thicker. They also work with wireless chargers, so you can drop them on…

You can lace Nike’s Adapt BB shoes with a smartphone app, but that’s just the beginning

Nike provided a glimpse of what the future of footwear could look like by introducing the first self-lacing smart basketball shoe on Tuesday. div > div.group > p:first-child »> The Adapt BB, priced at $350, does more than just lace itself. Using a power lacing system called Fit Adapt, users can adjust to find the perfect fit whether it’s manually or digitally, using the Nike Adapt mobile app. A custom motor and gear train tighten or loosen to customize to your foot. For Nike, this opens a new world of…

SureFly Octocopter pitched at Detroit auto show as the drone anyone can fly at $200,000

It’s been the dream of countless visionaries, finding a way to let people fly as easily as they can drive. And a century after Henry Ford abandoned his own « Flying Flivver » project, an assortment of entrepreneurs are racing to finally make that a reality. div > div.group > p:first-child »> That includes a small company out of Columbus, Ohio that showed off what looks like a drone with a two-person passenger compartment at this week’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit. With prototypes already taking to the…

Apple reportedly replaced about 10 times more iPhone batteries than it expected to

Apple replaced 11 million iPhone batteries during the length of its battery replacement program, even though it only expected to replace about 1-2 million of them, according to well-connected Apple insider John Gruber. div > div.group > p:first-child »> Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed the figure during an all-hands meeting that was first reported by Bloomberg. Apple’s battery replacement program started last January and ran through December 31. It allowed owners of the iPhone 6 and newer models to replace their battery for just $29. The program was launched after…