Tech

Apple

Record revenues of $90bn amid Covid buying surge

Apple executives announced record revenues on Wednesday, with earnings far surpassing analysts’ expectations. Revenue was up 54% year-over-year to nearly $90bn. Sales in China doubled. Mac sales were a third higher than predicted and iPhone sales came in around $48bn – roughly $6.5bn higher than initial estimates.

Lawmakers fume, CEOs dodge

Key moments from tech’s latest grilling in Congress

A congressional reckoning is coming for Silicon Valley, lawmakers told the CEOs of Facebook, Google and Twitter on Thursday at a hearing focused on a rising tide of misinformation and extremism. The House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing, which began at noon, is drilling into criticisms about ills including Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy, racial hatred and the use of multiple online platforms by the extremists who attacked the Capitol in January. Some lawmakers are also expressing frustration at not getting direct answers about who should bear the responsibility for online toxicity.

Gokada

Personal assistant, 21, is charged with second-degree murder

Personal assistant, 21, is charged with second-degree murder after his tech entrepreneur boss, 33, was found decapitated and dismembered in his $2.2m Manhattan apartment - as cops say he was caught embezzling $100,000 from his boss

5G

America’s war on Huawei nears its endgame

On may 15th the American government announced a startling escalation in its campaign against Huawei, a Chinese company which is the largest provider of telecoms equipment in the world.

Gokada

Entrepreneur’s dismembered body found in luxury Manhattan condo

The dismembered body of 33-year-old tech entrepreneur Fahim Saleh was found inside his luxury Manhattan condo where an electric saw was left behind, police in New York have said.

Tesla

Elon Musk twittert Foto von geplanter Fabrik bei Berlin

Tesla-Chef Elon Musk selbst hat seine geplante Fabrik in der Nähe von Berlin im Internet vorgestellt.

Security Threat

Amazon tells employees to remove TikTok from their devices immediately

Amazon has instructed its employees to remove the short-video app TikTok from their devices immediately, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Facebook

Ad boycott organizers met with Zuckerberg. It didn't go well

Civil rights and activist groups blasted Facebook's leadership on Tuesday after meeting with CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other executives to discuss the demands of a large advertiser boycott that now includes hundreds of brands.

Apple

New Mac ransomware is even more sinister than it appears

The threat of ransomware may seem ubiquitous, but there haven't been too many strains tailored specifically to infect Apple's Mac computers since the first full-fledged Mac ransomware surfaced only four years ago.

Green Finance

EU in der Kritik: Das Geschäft mit BlackRock

Ausgerechnet der stark in fossile Energien investierte US-Fondsgigant soll im Auftrag der EU-Kommission eine Studie zu Green Finance erstellen. Neue Details zum niedrigen Preis für die Studie werfen Fragen auf.

Social Media

Crackdown on tech industry's legal shield

The Justice Department will propose a major update Wednesday to the law that shields internet companies from liability for content on their sites — a move that follows President Donald Trump's call for platforms like Twitter and Facebook to be held to account for decisions found to be politically biased.

INVESTMENTFONDS

Wie Anleger vom Boom bei Cybersecurity profitieren können

Die Cyberattacke traf Easyjet. Im Mai griffen Eindringlinge bei der Billigfluglinie Daten vieler Millionen Kunden ab. Von 2.000 Betroffenen gingen auch die Kreditkartenangaben in falsche Hände.

Shortnews

The View

ABC Boss tells McCain and Behar to cool it with personal attacks

Following the latest on-air blowup between Meghan McCain and Joy Behar, ABC News President Kim Godwin called a last-minute meeting with the co-hosts and producers of The View to demand an end to the personal attacks. After Monday’s broadcast that featured McCain and Behar lashing out at each other over antisemitism, ABC reportedly received a flood of calls from viewers pleading with the network to get rid of McCain. Godwin said during the virtual chat that the on-air attacks had become too toxic and do not comport with the direction she wanted for the long-running talk show.

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The View

ABC Boss tells McCain and Behar to cool it with personal attacks

Following the latest on-air blowup between Meghan McCain and Joy Behar, ABC News President Kim Godwin called a last-minute meeting with the co-hosts and producers of The View to demand an end to the personal attacks. After Monday’s broadcast that featured McCain and Behar lashing out at each other over antisemitism, ABC reportedly received a flood of calls from viewers pleading with the network to get rid of McCain. Godwin said during the virtual chat that the on-air attacks had become too toxic and do not comport with the direction she wanted for the long-running talk show.

McCain apparently wasn’t thrilled with the message as she reportedly stormed out of the meeting early because she felt she was being personally “attacked.”

Drama on the set of The View is nothing new, especially since McCain arrived four years ago. While tensions between Behar and the conservative host have simmered for years, McCain has also run afoul of other hosts, prompting a seemingly never-ending stream of behind-the-scenes drama and on-air fireworks.

CNN

Chris Cuomo had ‘inappropriate’ strategy meetings with brother Andrew

CNN has given its primetime host Chris Cuomo a slap on the wrist for taking part in “inappropriate” meetings to advise his brother on how to respond to an onslaught of sexual harassment accusations. According to a Washington Post report, Cuomo joined several conference calls with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his top aides to discuss political strategy.

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CNN

Chris Cuomo had ‘inappropriate’ strategy meetings with brother Andrew

CNN has given its primetime host Chris Cuomo a slap on the wrist for taking part in “inappropriate” meetings to advise his brother on how to respond to an onslaught of sexual harassment accusations. According to a Washington Post report, Cuomo joined several conference calls with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his top aides to discuss political strategy.

Cuomo, one of his brother’s few close confidantes, reportedly told him to remain defiant and even invoked “cancel culture,” a term Gov. Cuomo also used publicly when brushing off the allegations made by a half-dozen women.

CNN told the Post that the meetings were “inappropriate,” and Cuomo had acknowledged as much.

“He will not participate in such conversations going forward,” the network said, but he won’t be disciplined.

Women’s group UltraViolet called on CNN to immediately suspend Cuomo following the Post’s report, adding that the network should also launch an immediate investigation into Cuomo’s involvement in his brother’s effort to dismiss sexual harassment allegations.

“Anything less is unacceptable, and further harms survivors of sexual abuse, who are already disinclined to come forward for fear of retaliation from men in power like the Cuomo brothers,” UltraViolet communications director Bridget Todd added in a statement.

Voltswagen

Volkswagen accidentally posts new company name

Volkswagen on Monday appeared to accidentally announce a rebranding with the new name “Voltswagen,” before quickly removing the press release from its website. On Monday morning, the German automaker posted a statement on its website announcing the “rebranding,” in an apparent shift towards its investment in electric vehicles, before taking it down, USA Today reported. In the release, the automaker said the rebranding is “more than a name change."

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Voltswagen

Volkswagen accidentally posts new company name

Volkswagen on Monday appeared to accidentally announce a rebranding with the new name “Voltswagen,” before quickly removing the press release from its website. On Monday morning, the German automaker posted a statement on its website announcing the “rebranding,” in an apparent shift towards its investment in electric vehicles, before taking it down, USA Today reported. In the release, the automaker said the rebranding is “more than a name change."

"‘Voltswagen’ is a public declaration of the company’s future-forward investment in e-mobility,” the release said, according to USA Today, which saved a photo of the statement before it was removed.

“The new name and branding symbolize the highly-charged forward momentum Voltswagen has put in motion, pursuing a goal of moving all people point-to-point with EVs,” the statement added.

A person familiar with the company’s plans told USA TODAY that Volkswagen is planning on making the change permanently. The source added that the company was not hacked, that the announcement was not a joke, and that it was not a marketing ploy.

Volkswagen’s plans to rebrand come as several automakers are beginning to invest more in electric vehicles. In November, General Motors announced that it was investing $27 billion through 2025 as part of its commitment to electric and autonomous vehicles. Additionally, the company unveiled plans to launch 30 electric vehicles globally by 2025.

Recovery

White House downplays surprising February jobs gain

Top White House officials took little solace in the better-than-expected February jobs report, insisting Friday that the U.S. was far from a full and equitable recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The February jobs report released Friday showed the U.S. gaining 379,000 jobs last month, nearly double the consensus estimates of economists. The unemployment rate also dropped 0.1 percentage points to 6.2 percent, its lowest level since March 2020, as businesses prepared for a post-pandemic world.

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Recovery

White House downplays surprising February jobs gain

Top White House officials took little solace in the better-than-expected February jobs report, insisting Friday that the U.S. was far from a full and equitable recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The February jobs report released Friday showed the U.S. gaining 379,000 jobs last month, nearly double the consensus estimates of economists. The unemployment rate also dropped 0.1 percentage points to 6.2 percent, its lowest level since March 2020, as businesses prepared for a post-pandemic world. President Biden’s top advisers, however, sought to spotlight how much economic damage the U.S. needs to repair and shortcomings of the rebound so far as Democrats push a $1.9 trillion aid bill through Congress.

“If you think today's jobs report is ‘good enough,’ then know that at this pace … it would take until April 2023 to get back to where we were in February 2020,” tweeted White House chief of staff Ron Klain.

If you think today's jobs report is "good enough," then know that at this pace (+379,000 jobs/month), it would take until April 2023 to get back to where we were in February 2020.

— Ronald Klain (@WHCOS) March 5, 2021
Even with February’s gain, the U.S. is still 9.5 million jobs short of replacing those lost to the pandemic, and 18 million Americans are on some form of jobless aid, according to the Labor Department. The unemployment rate has also been artificially depressed by the exit of nearly 5 million Americans from the workforce since the onset of the pandemic.

Cecilia Rouse, chair of Biden’s White House Council of Economic Advisers, highlighted in a Friday analysis how Black and Hispanic women have suffered the greatest declines in labor force participation.

“Black women were only 14 percent of the female labor force in February 2020, but have accounted for a disproportionate 26 percent of female labor force dropouts since then,” she wrote. “Hispanic women were only 17 percent of the female labor force in February 2020 but have accounted for 27 percent of the female labor force dropouts.”

The White House’s concerns are shared broadly by economists, who are generally optimistic in the economy’s prospects for 2021 but concerned about the depth of damage yet to be repaired.

“The pace of job growth in February was a pleasant surprise, but it is still too early to get excited,” wrote Nick Bunker, economic research director at Indeed.com.

“At this pace, it will take about four and a half years to get back to where the labor market would have been without the pandemic. Millions of Americans out of work do not have that time,” Bunker wrote.

Even so, Republicans — who are almost unanimously opposed to Biden's relief bill — touted the surprising February jobs gain as proof the recovery is well underway.

"America’s hard work and perseverance during the challenges of the last year are finally being realized, and more Americans are being vaccinated," said Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), former chairman of the Joint Economic Committee. "With a third vaccine now available for distribution, expectations are set for a record recovery from the pandemic-induced recession."

COVID-19

CDC signs off on Johnson & Johnson vaccine

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Sunday formally accepted the recommendation from its advisory panel that Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine can be given to people ages 18 and older in the United States. The announcement by CDC Director Rochelle Walensky will allow vaccinations to begin as soon as the doses are received. Walensky called the decision "another milestone toward an end to the pandemic."

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COVID-19

CDC signs off on Johnson & Johnson vaccine

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Sunday formally accepted the recommendation from its advisory panel that Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine can be given to people ages 18 and older in the United States. The announcement by CDC Director Rochelle Walensky will allow vaccinations to begin as soon as the doses are received. Walensky called the decision "another milestone toward an end to the pandemic."

"This vaccine is also another important tool in our toolbox to equitably vaccinate as many people as possible, as quickly as possible," Walensky said in a statement.

A senior administration official told reporters Sunday evening that Johnson & Johnson will ship 3.9 million doses immediately, and vaccine distribution centers will start receiving them as early as Tuesday.

Experts have said the vaccine could be targeted at places like rural communities, health centers or individual physician offices because of its relatively easy storage requirements.

However, senior administration officials said the goal is equitable distribution, and doses will be allocated to states by population, just as the vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are.

Most communities will have doses of all three vaccines, but not every vaccination site will because of limited availability. Officials stressed people should take whatever vaccine is available.

An administration official said the 3.9 million doses are Johnson & Johnson's entire inventory. There will not be any additional deliveries next week, and the official said governors are aware distribution through the early and middle parts of March will be "uneven."

A total 20 million doses of J&J's vaccine will be sent in March, but they will be concentrated more toward the end of the month. The U.S. has paid for 100 million doses, which the company has pledged will be delivered by June.

The U.S. paid more than $1 billion to aid in the manufacturing and delivery of J&J's vaccine. Nearly a year ago, the company also won $465 million in federal funding for vaccine research and development, bringing its U.S. funding total on the project to almost $1.5 billion.

The nation's third coronavirus vaccine arrives days after the United States surpassed 500,000 COVID-19 deaths.

While nursing home deaths have sharply dropped, as have overall cases and deaths, the CDC is warning the decline in new cases has stalled amid a rise in more contagious variants of the virus.

At the same time, governors across the country are lifting coronavirus restrictions, including mask mandates and capacity limits, despite warning signs of a new spike from the virus mutations.

"This third safe, effective COVID-19 vaccine comes at a potentially pivotal time," Walensky said in the statement.

"CDC’s latest data suggest that recent declines in COVID-19 cases may be stalling and potentially leveling off at still very high numbers. That is why it is so critical that we remain vigilant and consistently take all of the mitigation steps we know work to stop the spread of COVID-19 while we work our way toward mass vaccination," Walensky said.