How Fortnite’s $10 million fall tournament can help make it the next esports giant

And it’s on. On Friday, Epic Games kicked off their six week Fortnite Fall Skirmish series, with the world’s top players competing for a $10 million prize pool. The eight-figure purse eclipses the game publisher’s previous $8 million haul, with the invitational tournament pitting the best Fortnite players in the world against one another in a new club-based format. The event will culminate with a grand final in late October at TwitchCon. For industry experts and those involved in competitive Fortnite, the burgeoning prize pool and events of the last…

Airports use parking lot loyalty programs and discounts to compete against Uber and Lyft

Loyalty programs, half-off sales and even free coffee. These are some of the measures airport executives are considering to encourage travelers to park in their lots and garages, as ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft have surged in popularity. Parking is an important source of revenue for airports, sometimes second only to the fees airports collect from airlines, such as for terminal rent and landing fees. Airports are now scrambling to protect this key income stream as more travelers opt to leave their cars at home and take an Uber…

How one ‘Shark Tank’ entrepreneur turned his love of children and art into a toy business

They say life imitates art, which is why Budsies has no problem making a name for itself in the toy industry. This South Florida-based company lets customers turn their original artwork into a plush toy. Alex Furmansky, Founder and CEO of Budsies, pitched the heartwarming concept to the panel on « Shark Tank, » He told the sharks: « Children have the most amazing minds. Their imagination inspires them to create the most fantastic artwork. So, rather than let their artwork take over our fridge, or get lost in piles…

Amazon and Google both want to run your home, but for totally different reasons

Clocks, microwaves, sub-woofers oh my: In its quest to dominate the smart home, Amazon revealed 15 new Alexa-enabled products this week, including revamped versions of its Echo speakers. The blockbuster event drew comparisons to Apple’s relatively lackluster launch the week before, and has set the stage for Google’s own big hardware event on October 9. Don’t expect Google to follow Amazon, though: it’s expected to release the latest editions of its Pixel smartphones, and possibly some laptops and its own smart speaker with a screen, but not much else. That’s…

This is what your new car’s active safety systems do to prevent crashes

Active safety features are quickly propagating across the automotive world, with advanced driver assistance available on everything from compact economy cars to tech-forward luxury flagships. But as more and more of these systems hit the market, the alphabet soup of acronyms and confusing nomenclature can make it difficult to determine what these systems actually do. To help you out, here’s a list of the active safety features that may come on your next car. Because different manufacturers tend to call them different things, we’ve included alternate names for every system.…

Bidding rounds between Comcast and Fox for Sky enter final phase

Twenty-First Century Fox and Comcast have entered into the third round of bidding in a one-day auction for Sky, sources familiar with the matter told CNBC Saturday. According to the sources, the first two bidding rounds for Sky have been completed, with the auction entering its third and final phase. Those people could not say what the bids were, but at least one of the parties altered its bid. Final bids are expected to be submitted around 215 pm ET, with a winner being announced shortly thereafter. This follows an…

The White House is reportedly planning to order an antitrust probe of tech companies

The White House is reportedly working on a memorandum for President Donald Trump to sign that would direct government agencies to « thoroughly investigate » big tech companies like Google and Facebook, Bloomberg News reported on Saturday, who have fended off accusations of political bias against conservatives. A draft of that executive order, seen by Bloomberg, is in its preliminary stages and hasn’t yet been run past other government agencies, a White House official told the publication. It also does not mention any specific companies. However, its current language would…

The FDA’s nicotine stain: Juul isn’t only culprit in teen e-cigarette smoking epidemic

The epidemic of e-cigarette use among America’s teenagers is associated with a four-letter word: Juul. The wildly popular maker of flavored e-cigarettes has become as cool for a teenager to hold as an iPhone. But the advocacy groups and medical associations that have been campaigning against tobacco and nicotine products for years believe the FDA should be held equally accountable. Although the FDA’s recent crackdown on the sale of e-cigarettes — used by as many as 3 million teenagers, according to government data recently leaked to the press — has…

This building material can protect homes during natural disasters, and the US is missing out

There’s a building material that could keep houses intact during hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes and fires. While it’s been widely used around the world, the U.S. is a laggard in adopting the construction technique. One company trying to change that is RSG 3-D, which is bringing a building material known as 3D cementitious sandwich panel for mass production in the U.S. « Housing economists will tell you that 77 percent of homes built in the United States are at extreme risk for some type of natural disaster, » said RSG 3-D…

Top VC Deals: Eventbrite and Farfetch go public, IndigoAg notches $3.5 billion valuation

Luxury online marketplace Farfetch made its market debut Friday, after selling 44.2 million shares and raising $885 million in the IPO with a valuation around $6.2 billion (factoring in shares already held by employees). Founded in 2008 by José Neves, Farfetch began as a platform to help local high-end boutiques reach broader audiences and later evolved as a tool through which brands like Gucci could sell directly to customers. Farfetch makes its money primarily through commissions on sales via its website. Its early backers include Advent Venture Partners, Vitrurian Partners…

Cramer Remix: These two factors could be enormous for Micron

The Trump administration’s tariffs and shrinking demand are hurting Micron’s stock and worrying Wall Street. But the company’s $10 billion buyback could be exceedingly useful for keeping its shares afloat, CNBC’sJim Cramer said Friday. « Yes, historically, this is a boom-and-bust company, » the « Mad Money » host said. « But this time may be different, because Micron has never, ever, ever had a $10 billion buyback underneath its stock when it reported bad news. » So before investors sell Micron, they should remember that one our of five…

Red Hat CEO: ‘We expect this is the bottom’ in enterprise growth, it should re-accelerate

Wall Street wasn’t pleased with Red Hat’s second-quarter revenue miss on Wednesday, but the software company’s outlook is much brighter than this quarter made it seem, Red Hat President and CEO Jim Whitehurst told CNBC on Friday. An open-source software provider that helps enterprises get onto the cloud, Red Hat gets much of its business from its Enterprise Linux operating system, which helps run companies’ applications via private and public clouds. But the Enterprise Linux division’s modest second-quarter growth of 8 percent didn’t mean business was slowing permanently, Whitehurst told…

Google scrambled to get employees to delete an internal memo about censored search in China: report

Google scrambled to delete an internal memo circulating among employees with details about its proposed censored search app for China that showed that plans were farther along than company executives had previously indicated, The Intercept reports. The memo, written by a Google engineer who was asked to work on the product, started circulating earlier this month, before human resources contacted employees believed to have read or saved it, and told them to immediately delete any copies. The document reportedly highlighted that information about the project on internal company networks seemed…

Animation reveals possible Google Pixel wireless charging stand

In addition to all the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL leaks we’ve seen so far, we’ve also been hearing rumors of a Pixel Stand. More evidence of the stand, which is supposed to be a wireless charger that docks your phone in portrait mode, was found by 9to5Google today hidden within a beta version of the Google app. There’s not a lot of details yet, but based on the animations found in the app, it’s possible that the dock might let users display their photos in a slideshow…

Google built VR motion controllers for the Lenovo Mirage Solo headset

Google is trying to close the technology gap between its mobile virtual reality platform Daydream and the capabilities of more powerful, PC-based headsets. To do that, it’s launching software support for motion controllers that support what’s known as six degrees of freedom, or 6DoF. That lets you move more realistically through the physical world while immersed in a virtual environment because the controllers help track where you are and how you move based on the position of your hands. Google is also launching experimental 6DoF motion controllers for the Lenovo…

Trump’s cybersecurity policy lets the U.S. get more aggressive in hack battles with other countries

The White House released a new cybersecurity strategy today, with several important changes in direction meant to give government agencies and law enforcement partners a greater ability to respond to cybercrime and nation-state attacks. The 40-page document mostly stays the course for past initiatives — like working to strengthen the organizations that make up the country’s « critical infrastructure » industries, including electrical operators and financial institutions. But some of the changes emphasize a shift toward a more offensive cybersecurity posture, a longtime request fromm the National Security Agency and…

Sloan Kettering’s cozy deal with start-up ignites a new uproar

This article was reported and written in a collaboration with ProPublica, the nonprofit investigative journalism organization. An artificial intelligence start-up founded by three insiders at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center debuted with great fanfare in February, with $25 million in venture capital and the promise that it might one day transform how cancer is diagnosed. The company, Paige.AI, is one in a burgeoning field of start-ups that are applying artificial intelligence to health care, yet it has an advantage over many competitors: The company has an exclusive deal to use…

Beaten-down cryptocurrency XRP surges 80% in 24 hours, nearly triples in value on week

One of the worst performing cryptocurrencies this year is making a comeback. XRP rose more than 80 percent Friday to a high of 77 cents, bringing its gains this week to 185 percent, according to data from CoinMarketCap.com. Its market capitalization jumped to roughly $26.8 billion, surpassing ethereum as the world’s second most valuable cryptocurrency behind bitcoin. Often mistakenly called « Ripple, » XRP has fared the worst of the top cryptocurrencies this year. At one point this summer, it was down more than 90 percent from the high. Ripple…

Micron CEO says Trump’s tariffs will have less of an impact on the chipmaker over time

Although Micron Technology’s profitability will take a hit due to President Donald Trump’s latest round of tariffs on Chinese imports, CEO Sanjay Mehrotra told CNBC’s « Squawk Alley » that the company will be able to « easily mitigate » their future impact. Micron shares fell 5 percent before the market opened on Friday following revelations a day earlier that the semiconductor company’s gross margins would suffer as a result of Trump’s trade war. The stock tumbled despite Micron’s strong fourth-quarter earnings report that beat expectations on the top and…

France bans smartphones in schools through 9th grade to try to get students to pay attention more

PARIS — The eighth-grade girls already know what to expect from France’s new smartphone ban in all primary and middle schools because their school voluntarily instituted one last year. « Annoying, » was the assessment of Zoélinh Masson, 12, as her friend Grace Blahourou, 13, agreed. Still, they said that with no smartphones, students did talk to one another more. More from The New York Times:Are teenagers replacing drugs with smartphones?Keep your head up: How smartphone addiction kills manners and moodsBan on cellphones in New York City schools to be…

I made the switch from iPhone to Samsung Galaxy Note 9 — this is what I love and what I’ll miss

Friday, many of Apple’s new model iPhones go on sale. And after having an iPhone since it debuted in 2007, I won’t be getting one. I made the switch to Samsung on Sept. 11, — the day before Apple announced its new iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR. After using the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 for more than a week, I agree with many of the critics: it’s a better smartphone. It wasn’t an easy decision to give up my iPhone. I had an 11-year history with Apple…

Jefferies says AMD could triple its market share due to Intel’s supply problem

Jefferies believes AMD shares can go higher even after the chipmaker’s stock stunning rise this year. The firm raised its price target for AMD shares to $36 from $30, predicting big market share gains for the chipmaker due to Intel’s processor shortages. Jefferies also reiterated its buy rating for the shares. « Fubon’s report that Intel will undersupply the PC market between 4Q18 and 2Q19 leaves us with higher conviction that AMD will report improving revenue, pricing and margins near term, and that is positioned to take share in the…

Airbnb wants hosts to own a stake in the company, so it’s asking the SEC for a rule change

Airbnb wants its hosts to own a stake in the company, and it’s asking the Securities and Exchange Commission for a rule change to make it legal. « Airbnb believes that twenty-first century companies are most successful when the interests of all stakeholders are aligned, » the company said in a letter to the SEC on Friday. « For sharing economy companies like Airbnb, this includes our employees and investors, but also the hosts who use our marketplace. » The home-sharing platform runs on so-called « gig economy » workers,…

Wall Street analysts are worried about a memory chip downturn as Micron shares keep falling

Micron confirmed investors’ worst fears, saying PC processor shortages are hurting demand for its memory chips. The chipmaker’s shares are down 4.2 percent in Friday’s premarket session, a day after it gave weaker-than-expected fiscal first-quarter guidance. Micron estimates the company will generate November quarter sales of between $7.9 billion and $8.3 billion versus the Wall Street consensus of $8.45 billion. Last week J.P. Morgan said Intel’s chip shortage is ‘worsening’ and will hurt fourth-quarter PC sales by up to 7 percent. The firm said Intel is having capacity issues from…

Google staff discussed ways to tweak search results to counter Trump’s travel ban

Emails between Google employees appear to show them discussing ways to alter the company’s search engine algorithm so that results pages detailed ways of countering President Donald Trump’s travel ban, after his administration restricted immigration from several Middle Eastern and African countries in January 2017. The messages, seen by the Wall Street Journal, discussed ways to « leverage » the search algorithm to counter « Islamophobic, algorithmically-biased results from search terms ‘Islam,’ ‘Muslim,’ ‘Iran,’ etc. » and « prejudiced, algorithmically-biased search results from search terms ‘Mexico,’ ‘Hispanic,’ ‘Latino,’ etc. »…

San Francisco start-up Zippin is trying to eliminate grocery checkout lines

Amazon introduced the concept of checker-free grocery stores when it opened its first Amazon Go store in Seattle in February. Now, San Francisco start-up Zippin is trying to bring that experience to everyone. Co-founder and CEO Krishna Motukuri says Americans spend more than 100 hours a year standing in lines. And he wants to change that. To shop in a store with Zippin’s technology installed, you download an app and scan it when you enter the store. After that, you’re free to pick up whatever you want and then simply…

Fox and Comcast are about to settle their $36 billion battle for Sky — here’s what to expect

Two of America’s largest media companies are about to settle a bidding war to buy a coveted overseas competitor. Twenty-First Century Fox and Comcast will go head-to-head in London over the weekend at a takeover auction for British broadcaster Sky. The deal will likely set Sky’s new owner back by about $36 billion. Sky shares are currently trading well above Comcast’s last takeover offer price of £14.75 ($19.46) a share, which is the largest amount that has been offered so far. Fox’s latest offer trails behind at £14 per share.…

Huawei drives to flagship Apple store, hands out juice to mock battery life on iPhone XS launch day

Chinese smartphone maker Huawei trolled Apple by driving a van past the U.S. tech giant’s flagship London store on Friday, as the iPhone XS and XS Max went on sale. The Huawei van was serving juice to passers by with the tagline: « Get ju%ce that lasts, » followed by « No traces of Apple. » The reference was to battery life, with Huawei claiming its phones last longer. Apple’s flagship devices went on sale Friday with the technology giant hoping the smartphones will help boost revenues, profit and the…

Apple’s iPhone XS and XS Max go on sale as lines outside major stores are hit and miss

Apple’s iPhone XS and XS Max went on sale on Friday with the traditionally long queues outside stores missing in some flagship locations. Outside Apple’s flagship London store on Regent Street, about 25 people queued up as of around 6 a.m. local time. Some people were queuing up from 7.30 p.m. London time on Thursday. The queue was significantly smaller than last year. Outside the Orchard Road Apple store in Singapore the story was very different. Photos posted on social media show several hundred people waiting for the new devices.…

Why Alibaba’s Jack Ma doesn’t want you to be like him

Alibaba’s Jack Ma may be considered one of the leading lights of the business world. But he doesn’t want you to try and replicate his success. In fact, when people hold his name in such esteem, it makes him « sort of sad, » the Chinese billionaire said Thursday. Speaking at the World Economic Forum on Thursday, Ma said he felt his name has become an electronic « IP » address, laden with predetermined expectations. But that’s not the full picture. « When I mention Jack Ma, you’ve got your…