Nielsen is getting serious about going private and will talk to potential buyers in January

Nielsen Holdings plans to hold management presentations for interested private equity buyers in January after hiring a new CEO earlier this month, according to people familiar with the matter. div > div.group > p:first-child »> David Kenny took over as Nielsen’s CEO on Dec. 3, replacing Mitch Barnes. Nielsen had been reluctant to engage in sale discussions before naming a new CEO, said the people, who asked not to be named because discussions are private. Blackstone, working in tandem with Hellman & Friedman, and Bain Capital are planning to meet…

Bookseller sting on Amazon aims to weed out counterfeit textbooks, but small sellers getting hurt

Amazon upended the book industry more than two decades ago by bringing sales onto the web. Now, during the heart of the holiday shopping season, the company is wreaking havoc on used booksellers who have come to rely on Amazon for customers. div > div.group > p:first-child »> In the past two weeks, Amazon has suspended at least 20 used book merchants for allegedly selling one or more counterfeit textbooks. They all received the same generic email from Amazon informing them that their account had been « temporarily deactivated »…

Google is adding more parental controls to Chromebooks

Google has had an app called Family Link for a little over a year now, designed to give parents more control over their kids’ use of their Android phones — and even turn them off at dinner time. Now it’s expanding the app to support Chromebooks, adding many of the same features to that platform. Parents will be able to whitelist websites that they’re okay having their children visit, set screen time limits, establish a bedtime, remotely lock devices, and monitor usage. And for the first time, Chromebooks set up…

Cramer: Tesla may now feel ‘vindicated’ in regards to Elon Musk’s infamous $420 tweet

Telsa may be feeling better about CEO Elon Musk’s now-infamous August tweet on considering taking the electric car maker private, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Thursday. div > div.group > p:first-child »> « We’re now seeing price targets that are above » $420 per share, the « Mad Money » host said, referring to the stock price quoted in Musk’s take-private tweet. « Maybe, they’re being vindicated, » he added on « Squawk on the Street. » On Aug. 6, the day before the tweet, Tesla shares closed at nearly $342,…

YouTube’s 2018 recap becomes most disliked video ever posted on the site

YouTube’s 2018 « Rewind, » a mashup of the biggest trends on the site this year, has become its most disliked video ever. div > div.group > p:first-child »> This year’s annual recap has racked up 10 million dislikes, beating out pop star Justin Bieber’s 2010 song « Baby, » which sits on 9.8 million dislikes. The clip has been criticized by content creators and viewers alike. The « Rewind » video depicts trends such as K-Pop and « mukbang » — where people share videos of themselves eating copious…

Virgin Galactic attempting test flight that could send its first astronauts to the edge of space

Virgin Galactic is attempting its longest rocket-powered flight ever on Thursday, aiming to take a step ahead in the nascent business of space tourism. div > div.group > p:first-child »> If successful, the two pilots on board Virgin Galactic’s spacecraft Unity would become the company’s first astronauts. In this test flight, Virgin Galactic plans « to burn the rocket motor for durations which will see our pilots and spaceship reach space for the first time, » the company said. @virgingalactic: WhiteKnightTwo is taking SpaceShipTwo to release altitude at which point…

Tim Cook kept his promise with Apple’s new campuses — he didn’t run a contest like Amazon’s

Apple CEO Tim Cook kept his promise in placing Apple’s newest campuses — spanning several states and including a new $1 billion facility in Austin — he didn’t run a contest like Amazon’s. div > div.group > p:first-child »> Apple had been pointing to expansion efforts for several months, starting with a commitment announced in January to contribute $350 billion and 20,000 jobs to the U.S. economy over five years. But the company and its CEO were determined to keep competition and media hype out of it. « We’re not…

Robinhood, the start-up upending stock trading, goes after banks with a 3% savings account

Popular stock trading app Robinhood, which disrupted Wall Street with zero-fee transactions, is taking aim at an even bigger market: banks. div > div.group > p:first-child »> The five-year old company unveiled « Robinhood Checking & Savings » on Thursday, which offers checking and savings accounts with no fees and pays an interest rate roughly thirty-times the national average. Customers will earn 3 percent annually on money in either accounts, paid out on a daily basis. « We as a company are going make the financial services industry more inclusive…

Add Nvidia to ‘Christmas shopping list’ as chip stocks carve out a bottom, Citi says

It’s time to add Nvidia to the Christmas shopping list as semiconductor stocks start to carve out a price floor after a steep sell-off, Citigroup told clients Thursday. div > div.group > p:first-child »> Not only have Nvidia estimates been cut 18 percent on lower cryptocurrency demands, but gaming chip sale expectations have been cut to make the stock look cheap, analyst Atif Malik wrote. « Citi semiconductor team believes a bottom is forming in semiconductor stocks which could be a good entry point into high quality companies where Street…

Researchers are turning bumblebees into live drones, calling it Living IoT

The smaller the drone, the shorter the flight time — unless your drone is a real live bumblebee. div > div.group > p:first-child »> Average hobby drones typically have a flight time of around 20 minutes because rotary aircraft require a great deal of energy to stay airborne — more energy means heavier batteries. So what do you do if your drone is the size of an insect? On Tuesday, engineers at the University of Washington announced they have come up with a power source both strong and light enough…

Google Maps can now direct you to Lime scooters and bikes

Google is adding a new transit option to Maps: Lime scooters and bikes. Maps will now offer the option to direct you toward the nearest shared vehicle and factor that into your travel time. Maps already offers a similar integration for services like Uber and Lyft. Google will give you Lime as an option, along with the location and estimated price, and forward you over to the Lime app to actually find and book the scooter or bike in question. Google is rolling out the Lime integration in 13 cities…

Yet another analyst cuts their price target on Apple, citing iPhone weakness overseas

Yet another Wall Street analyst has cut share price expectations for Apple as Piper Jaffray joined the growing chorus of brokerages to readjust iPhone expectations. div > div.group > p:first-child »> « While we are not seeing evidence of iPhone unit weakness in our domestic iPhone user survey, reduced expectations from multiple component suppliers are likely a sign that global unit uptake has not met expectations, » analyst Michael Olson wrote to clients Thursday. « Based on this, and despite what appears to be a solid domestic uptake of iPhone…

Intel just signed a $100 million deal with ESL, expanding its footprint in the booming esports market

Intel and esports company ESL have extended a long-standing partnership, signing a three-year, $100 million deal designed to boost the profile of electronic sports worldwide, the companies announced Thursday. div > div.group > p:first-child »> Under the deal, Intel will provide multiple layers of technology — including its high-powered « Core » computer processors and 5G — for some of the biggest esports events through 2021. The semiconductor giant will also work alongside ESL to create new events seen around the globe. ESL runs multiple esports leagues and tournaments worldwide.…

GE spins off digital assets to form internet of things company

General Electric announced plans Thursday spin off its GE Digital business and establish an independent Internet of Things company, built around several GE Digital technologies. div > div.group > p:first-child »> GE is simultaneously selling a majority stake in Service Max to private equity shop Silver Lake, the company announced. Service Max is a software business GE Digital acquired for $915 million in November 2016. « As an independently operated company, our digital business will be best positioned to advance our strategy to focus on our core verticals to deliver…

Marriott hack could be a surprising piece of ammunition in Trump’s trade talks with China

The massive Marriott hacking that the hotel chain revealed this month could become part of the trade negotiations between the U.S. and China. div > div.group > p:first-child »> The data breach lasted four years, and the intruders stole information about 500 million customers. On Tuesday, The New York Times reported that investigators had traced the hack back to the Chinese government, calling it part of a broader intelligence-gathering operation. Reuters had previously reported Chinese involvement. But back in 2015, the Obama administration struck a data-theft deal with Chinese President…

Google’s Chromecast returns to Amazon, but it still lacks Prime Video

A year after Amazon announced it would resume selling Google Chromecasts, the streaming pucks are finally available to buy from its store, reports Android Police. Originally, Amazon had said that selling a streaming device that didn’t support its own Prime Video streaming service would cause “customer confusion,” and it also banned sales of the Apple TV for the same reason. Last December, Amazon finally released an Amazon Prime Video app on the Apple TV, but its mobile app continued to lack Chromecast support. Despite this disparity, Amazon later announced that…

Apple to invest $1 billion in new Texas campus

Apple will invest $1 billion in a new campus in Austin, Texas, the company announced on Thursday. div > div.group > p:first-child »> The 133-acre campus will be located in North Austin and will accommodate an initial 5,000 employees, with capacity for 15,000 employees in total. The new campus will be located less than one mile from Apple’s existing Austin facilities and will house a range of jobs in engineering, R&D, operations, finance, sales and customer support. Apple said the expansion will make it the largest private employer in Austin.…

These are the best tech companies to work for in India

India may be steaming ahead when it comes to technological innovation, but top local tech talents would still rather work at one of the multinational companies in the country than a homegrown firm. div > div.group > p:first-child »> That’s according to a new study from jobs site Indeed. Based on the site’s database of employee feedback, including company ratings, number of reviews and history of job openings, it found that job-seekers in India’s tech sector were more positive about working with international firms than local names. Of the 15…

Japan’s SoftBank to replace Huawei equipment, Nikkei reports

Japanese mobile carrier SoftBank will be replacing its hardware from Chinese tech giant Huawei in its 4G telecommunications network infrastructure over the next few years — and will instead be using equipment from Ericsson and Nokia, Nikkei Asian Review reported on Thursday. div > div.group > p:first-child »> SoftBank is also expected to place orders with the two European companies for its 5G networks, Nikkei reported. SoftBank is the only telecom carrier in Japan that uses Huawei equipment, according to the news outlet. The 5G network is the next telecommunications…

The costly journey of returned goods means big business for some

There’s a good chance that the $100 printer, the $300 wide-screen monitor, or the $170 router you recently bought from Amazon weren’t supplied to the e-commerce giant by their original manufacturers. In fact, the order may have been fulfilled by someone like Casey Parris, who resells items that customers previously returned to retailers. div > div.group > p:first-child »> Based in Florida, Parris spends about five hours each day visiting thrift stores and scanning auction and liquidation websites for interesting items, he told CNBC. Sometimes he finds auto parts, other…

Apple bull Gene Munster: Apple stock will reach $350 in three years

Apple bull Gene Munster told CNBC on Wednesday if you « look through the noise » about the company’s decision to ax unit sales from future earnings reports, investors will see that the iPhone-maker’s stock will reach $350 in three years. div > div.group > p:first-child »> That’s more than double Apple’s current share price of $169.10 and a moonshot from its initial offering of $22 on this date 38 years ago. Munster upgraded Apple to a buy when the stock was just $4 in October of 2004. « It’s…

UK fintech unicorn Revolut granted European banking license

U.K. financial technology firm Revolut secured a big victory on Thursday in its quest to shake up European banking. div > div.group > p:first-child »> Revolut announced it was granted a banking license by the European Central Bank (ECB) that it will start to implement next year across key markets including the U.K., France, Germany and Poland. The license will allow the fintech company to offer services typically provided by traditional banks, including full current accounts, consumer and business lending and overdrafts. Customers will also be able to deposit their…

‘Facebook’s stock is bottoming here’ as Instagram keeps drawing ad dollars: Jim Cramer

Shares of Facebook could be nearing a trough as Instagram continues to attract advertisers and the company adds to its share buyback program, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Wednesday. div > div.group > p:first-child »> « I think Facebook, the stock, is ready to bottom. Maybe it already has. Maybe it can go higher » as more and more retailers pour money into advertising on digital media platforms, he said. Boosting online advertising is « mentioned over and over and over again on practically every retail conference call I’ve been on,…

‘The rules of engagement have broken’ in cyberspace, says CEO of cybersecurity giant FireEye

The global rules of engagement for cyberspace have unraveled in recent years as rogue nations took advantage of their ability to hack companies like Sony Pictures, FireEye CEO Kevin Mandia told CNBC on Wednesday. div > div.group > p:first-child »> « What I’ve seen over the last three years is the rules of engagement have broken, » Mandia, whose firm is partnered with more than 60 governments, told Jim Cramer in an exclusive « Mad Money » interview. « I’m not sure what’s going to happen next for many nations…

How Congress missed another chance to hold big tech accountable

From time to time the entire technology press corps gets together on Twitter, spends several hours live-tweeting the same event, and then writes a series of blog posts about how nothing important happened. This event is known as a Congressional hearing, and today we witnessed our final one of the year. After months of polite deferrals, Sundar Pichai finally went before Congress on Tuesday, and over the course of three and a half hours, said as little as possible. The hearing before the House Judiciary Committee was defined, as had…

Chart analyst Katie Stockton sees ‘very bullish’ signs for S&P, Apple and Amazon

Investors concerned about the volatile market may have some relief ahead, according to technical analyst Katie Stockton. div > div.group > p:first-child »> She told CNBC on Wednesday that she sees « very bullish » signs in the S&P 500 chart. If the index doesn’t dip below 2,640 this week, it should be an all-clear for stocks to rally, she said on « Closing Bell. » Stockton, founder of Fairlead Strategies, which specializes in technical chart analysis, pointed to indicators that show the S&P is oversold in the intermediate term.…

Democratic state senator blasts Amazon’s HQ2 as a PR scam, saying ‘New York fell for it’

New York struck a « bad deal » with Amazon to bring one of the tech giant’s East Coast headquarters to Queens, New York state Sen. Michael Gianaris told CNBC on Wednesday. div > div.group > p:first-child »> Gianaris, a Democrat whose district includes Long Island City, where the Amazon facility would be located, called Jeff Bezos’ HQ2 search process « one of the great PR scams » and said New York responded by handing out $3 billion to the company. « Why is it the state and the city’s…

What to look for when you’re buying a new computer

Phones are getting huge. Tablets are tweeners. PCs are on the uptick. Microsoft just announced a new lineup of its Surface PCs and tablets and HP unveiled a leather laptop, so it’s a good time to ask: What’s right for you? What’s the difference between spending less than $1,000 or more than $2,000 on a PC? div > div.group > p:first-child »> Jon Fortt talks with Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights and Strategy about the latest technology in computing what to look for when buying a new computer. Fortt Knox…

Tech stocks rallied on Wednesday, with one big exception

Large-cap tech and telecom stocks rallied on Wednesday, with one exception: Verizon. div > div.group > p:first-child »> As the Nasdaq Composite Index popped 1 percent at the close, Verizon sunk 2.7 percent following a downgrade from Morgan Stanley and the news that it will take a $4.6 billion charge for its failing media business, Oath. Verizon made public the hefty goodwill impairment charge Tuesday in its 8-K filing, acknowledging the business turned out to be less valuable than initially expected. « Verizon’s Media business, branded Oath, has experienced increased…

Morgan Stanley is serious about investing in outer space and just had its first conference about it

Morgan Stanley hosted its first « Space Summit » in New York City on Tuesday, as the firm is telling clients to pay attention to space companies. div > div.group > p:first-child »> The event « included participation from private and public space companies and investors, with discussions centered on bandwidth, national security, and capital formation in the private domain, » Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas said in a note to clients on Wednesday. Read more: Morgan Stanley says 2019 could ‘be the year for space,’ led by the likes…