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If you're reading this on the TechCrunch site, you can get this in your inbox here, and follow my tweets here. Just as Pets.com symbolized the ridiculousness that came to frame the tech industry preceding the Dotcom bubble burst at the start of the century, dog-walking startup Wag might symbolize that SoftBank's earthquaking investment overexposure may extend far beyond a one-time WeWork mistake. This week, the WSJ reported that SoftBank had tossed in the towel on Wag, selling off its massive "nearly 50% stake" in the startup.
Walt Disney Co will launch its Disney+ streaming service on Vivendi SA's pay-TV business Canal+ platform by the end of March next year, executives of the two groups said in a joint interview released in the daily Les Echos on Sunday. Traditional media companies like Canal+ are under pressure to find ways to bulk up their content as they face competition from deep-pocketed online streaming platforms such as Netflix Inc and newcomers in the sports rights business such as Chinese-owned Mediapro. "This exclusive partnership is a new major step in the transformation of the Canal+ model," said the French broadcaster's chief executive, Maxime Saada.
Trade union Verdi called for workers at a key Amazon logistics centre in Germany to go on strike over the crucial final shopping days before Christmas, demanding better pay and conditions for workers there. Unions have staged repeated strikes in Germany, Amazon's second-largest market after the United States, since 2013, hoping to force the retail behemoth to recognise collective bargaining agreements that apply to other retail employees. "Verdi wants to use the high-turnover days before Christmas to raise the pressure for collective wage bargaining at Amazon," the union said in a statement on Sunday, saying that staff Christmas bonuses should be quadrupled from their current level of 400 euros (331 pounds).
The first driverless cars were supposed to be deployed on the roads of American cities in 2019, but just a few days before the end of the year, the lofty promises of car manufacturers and Silicon Valley remain far from becoming reality. Recent accidents, such as those involving Tesla cars equipped with Autopilot, a driver assistance software, have shown that "the technology is not ready," said Dan Albert, critic and author of the book "Are We There Yet?" on the history of the American automobile. - Are autonomous cars on the roads?
Using Nvidia, Netflix and Facebook, see timely tips on investing in stocks hidden within the holiday classics featuring Rudolph, Frosty and Scrooge.
Tech spats between China and the US have encompassed smartphones and social media apps — and now the humble office keyboard. The new directive, nicknamed “3-5-2”, aims to increase China’s reliance on homemade technology and could deal a blow to foreign technology groups such as HP, Dell Technologies and Microsoft.
The chair of a U.S. congressional panel wrote to Alphabet's Google and to Apple on Friday to ask what if any disclosures mobile apps are required to make regarding overseas ties, a concern that follows reports of Chinese investment in popular apps such as TikTok and Grindr. Rep. Stephen Lynch, chairman of a subcommittee of the House of Representatives Oversight Committee, said in a statement that he had asked both Google and Apple to tell Congress whether they required app developers to disclose any non-U.S. ties. Concern over China acquiring sensitive data about U.S. citizens through social media apps is one of several sore areas in relations between the United States and China even as U.S. President Donald Trump's trade war with China fans suspicion between the world's two largest economies.
The U.S. auto safety agency said on Friday it will investigate a 12th Tesla crash that may be tied to the vehicle's advanced Autopilot driver assistance system after a Tesla Model 3 rear-ended a parked police car in Connecticut last week. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) special crash investigation program will investigate the Dec. 7 crash of a 2018 Tesla Model 3 on Interstate 95 in Norwalk, Connecticut, the agency confirmed. Autopilot had been engaged in at least three Tesla vehicles that were involved in U.S. crashes since 2016.
U.S. President Donald Trump's limited trade deal with China removes a major hurdle for Apple and other technology stocks that have already surged this year to record highs. China has agreed to boost imports of U.S. energy, pharmaceutical and agricultural products, although Chinese officials offered no details on the amount of U.S. goods Beijing had agreed to buy. If it is signed, Trump's long-awaited deal will be a relief to Apple, among the U.S. companies with the most to lose in the trade war between the world's two largest economies, along with chipmakers who make the components in its devices, which are mostly made in China.
FT subscribers can click here to receive #techFT every day by email. Hong Kong protest tactics have come to mainland China. The spark? Huawei and the Chinese government’s alleged mistreatment of an ex-employee. ...
Amazon Alexa can now play podcasts from Apple, making Amazon's line of Echo devices the first third-party clients to support the Apple Podcasts service without using AirPlay. Before, this level of support was limited to Apple's HomePod. According to Amazon, the addition brings to Alexa devices Apple's library of more than 800,000 podcasts.
Amazon had a big week with government issues, a host of new deals and announcements at its annual conference and developments in India.
We found three cloud-focused software stocks using our Zacks Stock Screener that investors might want to consider buying for 2020...