Best of CES 2023: Electric skates, pet tech and AI for birds
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Tech companies of all sizes are showing off their latest products at CES, formerly known as the Consumer Electronics show. The show is getting back to normal after going virtual in 2021 and experiencing a significant drop in 2022 attendance because of the pandemic. Exhibitors range from big names including Sony and LG to tiny startups. You might see the next big thing or something that will never make it past the prototype stage. Highlights of a media preview included an AI-connected bird feeder, electric inline skates and temporary digital tattoos.
Meta fined 390M euros in latest European privacy crackdown
LONDON (AP) — European Union regulators have hit Facebook parent Meta with hundreds of millions in fines for privacy violations and banned the company from forcing users in the 27-nation bloc to agree to personalized ads based on their online activity. Ireland’s Data Protection Commission imposed two fines Wednesday totaling 390 million euros. Its decision on the two cases that could shake up Meta’s business model targeting users with ads based on what they do online. It’s the commission’s latest punishment for Meta for data privacy infringements, following four other fines for the company since 2021 totaling more than 900 million euros.
Twitter says it will relax ban on political advertising
Twitter says it will ease up its 3-year-old ban on political advertising. It’s the latest change by Elon Musk as he tries to pump up revenue after purchasing the social media platform last year. The company tweeted late Tuesday that it’s relaxing its policy for cause-based ads in the U.S. It also says it plans to expand the political advertising it permits in the coming weeks. Twitter banned all political advertising in 2019 as it reacted to growing concern about misinformation spreading on social media. In reversing the ban, Twitter said it will align its advertising policy with those of “TV and other media outlets” without providing further details.
Biden heads to Kentucky to highlight cash for aging bridge
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is stopping by a notoriously dilapidated bridge connecting Ohio and Kentucky to promote his administration’s infrastructure law. The Brent Spence Bridge has long been a symbol of the nation’s aging infrastructure system, with presidents of both parties vowing to fix it. Earlier this week, Biden said, “It’s a giant bridge, man.” The Democratic president added the infrastructure aid would provide “a lot of money” to fix the bridge. A bipartisan group of governors and senators including Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell will be joining Biden in Kentucky on Wednesday. Top administration officials are headlining similar events this week at other major U.S. bridges including in Illinois, Connecticut and California.
Salesforce cuts about 10% of its workforce
Salesforce is laying off about 10% of its workforce in the latest round of job cuts in the tech industry as corporations cut back on software and other spending. The San Francisco cloud computing software company will also be closing some offices. Salesforce employs nearly 80,000 people. Tech companies hired aggressively during the pandemic to keep up with soaring demand, but Salesforce had been growing rapidly since at least 2018. Its workforce more than doubled between then and 2021.
US stocks rise in uncertain trading after strong job data
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks rose in choppy trading on Wall Street Wednesday after another strong signal on the job market. The government reported that the number of job openings in November was higher than expected, but that also keeps pressure on the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates high to fight inflation. The S&P 500 was up 1.2%, the Dow was up 0.7% and the Nasdaq rose 1%. The Fed releases minutes from its latest policy meeting later Wednesday. Salesforce rose after becoming the latest tech coimpany to announce staffing cuts. Crude oil prices fell.
US job openings stayed high in sign of economic resilience
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. job openings slipped in November but remained at high suggesting businesses are still determined to add workers, a blow to the Federal Reserve’s efforts to cool hiring and wage gains. There were 10.46 million job vacancies on the last day of November, down slightly from 10.51 million in October, the Labor Department said Wednesday. That’s down from a peak of 11.9 million in March. Yet the figures show there are nearly 1.8 jobs for every unemployed person, down from a peak of 2 but historically very high. Before the pandemic, there were usually more unemployed people than jobs.
White House gun violence program with philanthropies ends
NEW YORK (AP) — A little known Biden administration initiative to reduce gun violence that was funded by philanthropic foundations wrapped up in December with a celebration hosted in Washington. The Community Violence Intervention Collaborative was launched in June 2021 to get public funding to small nonprofits that work to combat gun violence. It provided training to 50 grassroots groups that use a community-based approach to reach the people most likely to shoot someone or be shot and offer them a path out of cycles of violence. Nancy Fishman, of the Schusterman Family Philanthropies, said the initiative had built momentum toward a shift in how the government approaches public safety.
Coinbase to pay $100M in settlement with New York regulators
NEW YORK (AP) — New York has announced a $100 million settlement with Coinbase over what state officials called significant failures in the cryptocurrency trading platform’s systems for spotting potential criminal activity. According to the state Department of Financial Services, Coinbase’s anti-money-laundering program and its system for monitoring transactions for suspicious activity were inadequate for a company of Coinbase’s size and complexity. Under the terms of the settlement announced Wednesday, Coinbase will pay $50 million to New York state and will invest another $50 million in its compliance program. Coinbase chief legal officer Paul Grewal says the company has taken substantial measures to address the shortcomings identified by the New York investigation.
Biden to host Japan’s Kishida for talks on NKorea, economy
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden will host Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at the White House later this month for economic and security consultations. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre says the Jan. 13 meeting will include discussions of North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs, amid concerns over the potential for another nuclear test by the reclusive nation. Also on the agenda: economic issues, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, climate change and stability across the Taiwan Strait. The two leaders last met in Bali, Indonesia, during November’s Group of 20 summit.