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Wednesday, January 27, 2021
Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during a special event at the company's headquarters of Apple Park in a still image from video taken in Cupertino, California, U.S. September 15, 2020. Apple Inc. | Reuters Apple on Wednesday announced its latest set of major donations as part of its $100 million initiative to help dismantle systemic barriers and promote racial equality for people of color. The company split the first round into three projects, including a $25 million donation to the Propel Center, a learning hub for Historically Black Colleges and Universities. It will also launch the Apple Developer Academy to support coding students in Detroit, and venture capital funding for Black and Brown founders. CEO Tim Cook announced the Racial Equity and Justice Initiative in June, following the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Lisa Jackson, the company's vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, leads the program. Many large tech companies announced hefty donations to support racial equality over the summer, but Apple's was among the largest and it's one of the few to set up an initiative. In addition to its work with
Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook speaks onstage during 'Putting a Best Facebook Forward' at Vanity Fair's 6th Annual New Establishment Summit. Matt Winkelmeyer | Getty Images Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg on Monday said that the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last week was largely organized on other internet services, not on Facebook. "We again took down QAnon, Proud Boys, Stop the Steal, anything that was taking about possible violence last week," Sandberg said in a live-streamed interview with Reuters. "Our enforcement is never perfect, so I'm sure there were still things on Facebook. I think these events were largely organized on platforms that don't have our abilities to stop hate, don't have our standards and don't have our transparency." But there were still plenty of groups who were able to post on Facebook about storming the Capitol building before the riots last week. For example, CNBC found that the Facebook group for the political action committee The Black Conservatives Fund called on its 80,000 followers to march on the Capitol on Jan. 5, the day before the riots. The group removed the post after a CNBC inquiry.
The 2020 MacBook Air on the left versus the 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro on the right. Todd Haselton | CNBC TFI's Ming-Chi Kuo, one of the top Apple analysts, said in a note Friday that Apple will launch two new MacBook Pro models this year with 14- and 16-inch screens, a new design and the return of MagSafe charging ports. MagSafe charging used to appear in MacBook designs before Apple moved to USB-C charging in recent years. People like it because the cord pops in and pulls out easily, preventing the risk of damage to the laptop if someone pulls the cord. Apple recently revived the MagSafe branding with the latest iPhone 12 models, which charge with a magnetic puck that attaches to the back of the phones. "The MacBook Pro has not changed the form factor design for five years," Kuo said. "We believe that the launch of two all-new design MacBook Pro models in 3Q21 will attract consumers' attention and boost the replacement demand." Apple Mac revenue was up 28% year over year, when the company reported its fiscal fourth-quarter 2020 earnings in October. There's
Google staff stage a walkout at the company's UK headquarters in London on November 1, 2018 as part of a global campaign over the US tech giant's handling of sexual harassment. Tolga Akmen | AFP | Getty Images Employees at Google parent company Alphabet formalized a union organization effort Monday after several years of attempts and increased turbulence between leadership and employees. So far, 400 of the company's more than 260,000 employees and contractors have signed up for the Alphabet Workers Union, which formally aligned with the Communications Workers of America. While that's just a sliver of the workforce, it is significant because it includes employees from all areas of the company, is legitimized through a "minority union" model supported by the CWA, and has the potential to grow, while influencing other tech companies. The move comes on the heels of the departure of renowned ethics researcher Timnit Gebru, which catalyzed several longstanding issues among employees, creating a perfect storm for unrest. Open to more workers Workers began smaller-scale organizing efforts that have slowly grown over recent years, and while some petitions have influenced leadership
Jack Ma, CEO of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, speaks during his visit at the Vivatech startups and innovation fair, in Paris on May 16, 2019. Philippe Lopez | AFP | Getty Images The shares of Alibaba and Tencent saw heavy falls on Thursday after a report, citing several people familiar with the matter, suggested the Trump administration could be about to add the Chinese tech giants to a U.S. blacklist. The conglomerates saw their shares on the Hong Kong stock exchange slide by around 4% after the report from The Wall Street Journal said that officials were considering prohibiting Americans from investing in the firms. The U.S. government blacklisted 31 Chinese companies in November over concerns that they support Beijing's military through an executive order. U.S. state and defense officials have been discussing expanding the executive order so the blacklist includes more companies, according to anonymous sources cited by the WSJ.  When the Hong Kong stock exchange closed, Tencent's share price was down 4.69% to 568.5 Hong Kong dollars, while Alibaba's share price was down 3.91% to 221 Hong Kong dollars.  If they do get added to
studioEAST | Getty Images LONDON — Bitcoin's record-breaking rally has led to a surge in retail investment interest in the cryptocurrency market. Crypto exchanges such as Coinbase and Binance and online trading platforms including Revolut and eToro have seen a spike in activity recently, as new investors race to capture some of the wild gains in the market. "There is certainly market data pointing to increased retail participation," said Michael Bucella, partner at crypto investment firm BlockTower Capital. "This is reflected in the recent surge in 'altcoins'" — other digital tokens that came after bitcoin — "and the increase in volumes on the retail platforms, as well as the crypto-native exchanges that have historically been more retail-focused," Bucella added. Bitcoin bulls claim the cryptocurrency's latest rally is different to a late-2017 bubble that saw its price soar close to $20,000 before collapsing as low as $3,122 the following year. The main difference, they say, is that institutional investors are driving the price gains this time round. A number of famed investors including Paul Tudor Jones and Stanley Druckenmiller came out as believers in
Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, pictured on September 13, 2018. Bloomberg | Getty Images A group of Amazon corporate employees is calling on the company to stop providing cloud services to Parler, a social media app popular with Trump supporters. In a tweet on Saturday, employee advocacy group Amazon Employees for Climate Justice said Amazon Web Services should "deny Parler services until it removes posts inciting violence, including at the Presidential inauguration." AWS provides cloud services to Parler that host its website. Representatives from Amazon and Parler didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. Pressure has been mounting for Amazon to stop hosting Parler on AWS after other tech giants took action against the social media app in the wake of the deadly U.S. Capitol riot earlier this week. Google on Friday removed Parler from its app store for Android users, Google Play Store. BuzzFeed News reported on Friday that Apple has threatened to pull Parler from its App Store. Parler, which launched in 2018, has emerged as a popular platform for President Trump's allies in the last year by billing itself as a
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is seen testifying remotely during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing titled, "Breaking the News: Censorship, Suppression, and the 2020 Election,? on Facebook and Twitter's content moderation practices, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., November 17, 2020. Hannah McKay | Reuters Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday said the company would block President Donald Trump from posting from his account for an indefinite amount of time and at least until President-elect Joe Biden assumes the Oval Office. The decision comes after Facebook on Wednesday said it would lock Trump's account for 24 hours, preventing him from posting on the service. Facebook-owned Instagram also locked Trump's account on the service. Here's the full post from Zuckerberg, which was published to his personal Facebook account: The shocking events of the last 24 hours clearly demonstrate that President Donald Trump intends to use his remaining time in office to undermine the peaceful and lawful transition of power to his elected successor, Joe Biden. His decision to use his platform to condone rather than condemn the actions of his supporters at the Capitol building has rightly disturbed people
Amazon fulfillment center warehouse. Getty Images Amazon warehouse workers at an Alabama warehouse can begin voting by mail in early February on whether to form a union, a National Labor Relations Board hearing officer ruled Friday. The ruling kicks off what will be a closely watched union vote at one of the nation's largest employers. Amazon has successfully fended off unionization attempts among its workforce in the U.S. in the past. About 6,000 employees at the fulfillment center in Bessemer, Alabama will cast their ballots between Feb. 8 and March 29 to be represented by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. The decision represents a blow to Amazon, which had pushed for the election to be held at the Bessemer facility, known as BHM1. A RWDSU spokesperson declined to comment. Amazon didn't respond to a request for comment. This story is developing. Check back for updates.
BERLIN, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 02: Tesla head Elon Musk arrives at a retreat of the German Christian Democrats CDU/CSU Bundestag faction on September 02, 2020 in Berlin, Germany. Musk is currently in Germany where he met with vaccine maker CureVac, with which Tesla has a cooperation to build devices for producing RNA vaccines, yesterday. Today he is rumoured to also the site of the new Gigafactory under construction near Berlin. Maja Hitij | Getty Images News | Getty Images Four days after Tesla CEO Elon Musk prompted Twitter followers to "use Signal," a reference to the Signal encrypted messaging app funded by a nonprofit organization, investors pushed even higher the price of Signal Advance, a small component manufacturer whose stock trades over the counter. During Monday's trading session, the stock rose 438% and reached a high of $70.85, up from a closing price of 60 cents on Jan. 6, a day before Musk's tweet. The stock saw its highest trading volume since going public in 2014 on Monday; more than 2 million shares changed hands, while on Jan. 4, not a single share of the stock was traded.
E-sport fans watch the match of the 2020 League of Legends World Championship televised on a screen at a Tencent V-station in Shanghai, China Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020. Barcroft Media | Barcroft Media | Getty Images GUANGZHOU, China — Shanghai has broken ground on a major e-sports events hub as the city pushes to become the leader in competitive gaming. E-sports refers to competitive video gaming which is growing quickly globally. Over the past few years, e-sports tournaments have managed to pack out large stadiums with fans flocking to watching their favorite players. The venue, named the Shanghai International New Cultural and Creative E-sports Center, will cost 5.8 billion yuan ($898.2 million) and span 500,000 square meters. It is designed to be a hub where e-sports teams and companies can be based and will have a hotel attached. Shanghai has looked to position itself as a global e-sports center. Last year, the city hosted the "League of Legends" World Championship, one of the biggest events in the e-sports calendar. China's e-sports scene E-sports continues to grow quickly and is estimated to have
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, stands on the construction site of the Tesla Gigafactory in Grünheide near Berlin, September 3, 2020. Patrick Pleul | picture alliance | Getty Images Elon Musk just became the richest person in the world, with a net worth of more than $185 billion. Thursday's increase in Tesla's share price pushed Musk past Jeff Bezos, who had been the richest person since 2017 and is currently worth about $184 billion. Musk's wealth surge over the past year marks the fastest rise to the top of the rich list in history — and is a dramatic financial turnaround for the famed entrepreneur who just 18 months ago was in the headlines for Tesla's rapid cash burn and his personal leverage against the company's stock. Musk started 2020 worth about $27 billion, and was barely in the top 50 richest people. Tesla's rocketing share price — which has increased more than ninefold over the past year — along with his generous pay package have added more than $150 billion to his net worth. Meanwhile, Amazon's share price has remained more subdued due to the potential