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new york city adventures at your fingertips with new app

does anyone remember the hagstrom new york city 5-borough atlas? as an urban explorer in the 1990s, it was among my most treasured possessions: the entire city, spiral-bound, mapped and laminated. then came google maps, the great leap forward. and now? i recently explored several neighborhoods with live.xyz, a free map app launching this week that aims to change the way pedestrians experience the urban environment. while existing map apps focus on directions, live focuses on locations and events, says co-founder and chairman...





brain-computer interfaces: ‘the last frontier of human privacy’

what’s the most pressing issue surrounding the development of neural interfaces? when we contemplate the role of neural interfaces in our future lives, a lot of people will think of applications like telepathy: sending messages directly from my brain to yours. but first we need to have a deep discussion around privacy as a human right. our data, which we give away free, has value. companies like facebook and google mine that data to create economic value for themselves. with brain interfaces, you’d be giving away access...





for warehouse workers, technology starts to look more like home

perris, calif.—when bert hooper brings on new workers at techstyle fashion group’s 450,000 square-foot warehouse, he tells them, “if you know how to use a smartphone and you know how to use an app, you can do about any operation that we have in our facility.”as the head of global fulfillment at the online retailer, mr. hooper designed techstyle’s five e-commerce warehouses to run on apple inc.’s aapl -1.96% operating system with a user-friendly application that he says cuts training time in half for new hires. workers filling orders for the fabletics, justfab and shoedazzle brands simply open the app on an ipod touch and follow the instructions, guiding carts along the facility’s long aisles of pink shoe boxes and bins of neatly-folded, individually-wrapped clothes. today’s retailers face an array of complicated logistics problems—including managing inventory across warehouses and stores, staffing-up effectively for seasonal peaks and tracking millions shipments across a multitude of freight and parcel carriers. but techstyle and a handful of other sellers have found one hack by turning loose consumer technology in their back-office operations. “it’s so obvious,” said evan garber, chief executive of evs, a software firm that develops warehouse management systems. for more than a decade, evs software has used motorola systems inc. handheld scanning devices—called “bri...





in zte battle, u.s. suppliers are collateral damage

american companies that supply chips, antennas and other gear to zte corp. ztcoy -10.00% are bracing for a sizable revenue loss after the u.s. last week said they no longer would be able to sell components to the chinese telecommunications giant.several zte vendors watched their stock prices stumble in recent days, collateral damage after the commerce department imposed a seven-year sales ban, accusing the chinese company of failing to punish employees who violated u.s. sanctions against north korea and iran. giants such as san diego chip maker qualcomm inc. qcom -1.78% and niche companies such as acacia communications inc., acia 5.92% a maynard, mass.-based maker of fiber-optic networking components, are among u.s. companies affected, as national-security and trade issues flare up between the u.s. and china. u.s. chip makers sold about $1.5 billion worth of products to zte, according to handel jones, chief executive of the technology consultancy international business strategies inc., which tracks china’s high-tech sector. zte made 3.8% of smartphones world-wide in 2017, he estimates.the pinch is particularly acute for acacia, which noted in a february filing that zte accounted for 30% of its $385.17 million in revenue last year. acacia, which had 354 employees at the end of 2017, said “the loss or temporary ...





apple takes a step on payment of back taxes to ireland

apple inc. completed an agreement with ireland that will allow it to transfer roughly 13 billion euros ($16 billion) into a dublin escrow account, in a step toward complying with a european commission order to pay back taxes.the commission, the executive body of the european union, in 2016 ruled that apple had underreported profit in ireland over more than a decade because of two tax deals with the irish government. that, the eu says, is illegal state aid that must be repaid. apple and ireland are appealing the decision,...





‘god of war’: how sony rebooted an already successful franchise

when sony corp. sne 0.79% set out to make another sequel to its hack-n-slash hit “god of war,” the team decided to send its greek god antihero kratos on a different kind of journey—the personal growth of parenthood. it was a risky decision for a franchise best known for epic, bloody battles. but it was one that reflected the growth of the writers and developers at santa monica studio, and the evolution of the game’s fans. “they’re growing into families,” said shannon studstill, head of santa monica studio. “so yeah, we’re very consciously going through this process of building family, and what that looks like.” cory barlog, the director of the new sequel, said he wrote the first draft of a prior game in the franchise, “god of war 2,” with his dad. he reflected on what it would mean for kratos to be responsible for a child. “kratos now has the potential to be a father,” he said. “but be a decent father? how would he get there?”in the video above, we visit the studio during development, to see how the creative team reimagined the title.write to mark kelly at [email protected]





startups love this cryptocurrency strategy. regulators say not so fast.

washington—startups are raising money from venture capitalists and other wealthy investors by rewarding them with new cryptocurrencies, in a bid to avoid much of the cost and regulation of traditional stock sales.one problem: regulators haven’t recognized the arrangement as a valid way to raise money in compliance with investor-protection laws.the...





for warehouse workers, technology starts to look more like home

perris, calif.—when bert hooper brings on new workers at techstyle fashion group’s 450,000 square-foot warehouse, he tells them, “if you know how to use a smartphone and you know how to use an app, you can do about any operation that we have in our facility.”as the head of global fulfillment at the online retailer, mr. hooper designed techstyle’s five e-commerce warehouses to run on apple inc.’s aapl -0.78% operating system with a user-friendly application that he says cuts training time in half for new hires. workers filling orders for the fabletics, justfab and shoedazzle brands simply open the app on an ipod touch and follow the instructions, guiding carts along the facility’s long aisles of pink shoe boxes and bins of neatly-folded, individually-wrapped clothes. today’s retailers face an array of complicated logistics problems—including managing inventory across warehouses and stores, staffing-up effectively for seasonal peaks and tracking millions shipments across a multitude of freight and parcel carriers. but techstyle and a handful of other sellers have found one hack by turning loose consumer technology in their back-office operations. “it’s so obvious,” said evan garber, chief executive of evs, a software firm that develops warehouse management systems. for more than a decade, evs software has used motorola systems inc. handheld scanning devices—called “bri...





chinese ride-hailing giant didi hits accelerator on talks for ipo

china’s didi chuxing technology co., one of the world’s largest ride-hailing companies, is holding discussions about a multibillion-dollar initial public offering that could happen as soon as this year, according to people familiar with the matter. the beijing-based company has in recent weeks been in talks with bankers about the feasibility of tapping the public markets for cash in the second half of 2018, as it looks to amass a large war chest to fend off rivals in china and other countries, the people said. ...





amazon to start offering in-car deliveries

amazon.com inc. is now delivering packages right to the car.the company said tuesday it has joined with general motors co. and volvo cars to start offering in-car deliveries, giving its couriers access to potentially millions of vehicles in 37 u.s. markets. the deal expands amazon’s effort to get consumers comfortable with the idea of strangers entering their homes and cars as the company handles more packages.the...





in zte battle, u.s. suppliers are collateral damage

american companies that supply chips, antennas and other gear to zte corp. are bracing for a sizable revenue loss after the u.s. last week said they no longer would be able to sell components to the chinese telecommunications giant.several zte vendors watched their stock prices stumble in recent days, collateral damage after the commerce department put in place a seven-year ban, as national-security and trade-related tensions flare up between the u.s. and china. giants such as san diego chip maker qualcomm inc. and niche...





eu probes apple’s planned acquisition of shazam

brussels—european union antitrust authorities on monday opened a full-blown probe into apple inc.’s aapl -0.29% proposed acquisition of song-recognition app shazam entertainment ltd. on concerns it would reduce choice for users of music-streaming services.the deal would give apple ownership of a popular app that helps users identify songs, before directing them to apple music or spotify to listen to and potentially buy or stream the music. it also would give apple access to extensive information on consumers’ musical interests. financial terms of the deal, announced in december, weren’t disclosed.the european commission, the bloc’s antitrust authority, said it was concerned apple would gain access to data that would allow the iphone maker to directly target its rivals’ customers and encourage them to switch to its music-subscription service, apple music. eu investigators said they would also probe whether competitors could be harmed if apple were to discontinue referrals to their services from the shazam app.“our investigation aims to ensure that music fans will continue to enjoy attractive music streaming offers and won’t face less choice as a result of this proposed merger,” eu antitrust chief margrethe vestager said on monday. the eu could block the deal or extract concessions from the companies in exchange for clearance.apple didn’t comment. london-based shazam said, “...





startups love this cryptocurrency strategy. regulators say not so fast

washington—startups are raising money from venture capitalists and other wealthy investors by rewarding them with new cryptocurrencies, in a bid to avoid much of the cost and regulation of traditional stock sales.one problem: regulators haven’t recognized the arrangement as a valid way to raise money in compliance with investor-protection laws.the...





in zte battle, u.s. suppliers are collateral damage

american companies that supply chips, antennas and other gear to zte corp. ztcoy 2.04% are bracing for a sizable revenue loss after the u.s. last week said they no longer would be able to sell components to the chinese telecommunications giant.several zte vendors watched their stock prices stumble in recent days, collateral damage after the commerce department put in place a seven-year ban, as national-security and trade-related tensions flare up between the u.s. and china. giants such as san diego chip maker qualcomm inc. qcom -1.77% and niche companies such as acacia communications inc., acia -0.07% a maynard, mass.-based maker of fiber-optic networking components, are among u.s. companies affected.u.s. chip makers sold about $1.5 billion worth of products to zte, according to handel jones, chief executive of the technology consultancy international business strategies inc., which tracks china’s high-tech sector. zte made 3.8% of smartphones world-wide in 2017, he estimates.the pinch is particularly acute for acacia, which noted in a february filing that zte accounted for 30% of its $385.17 million in revenue last year. acacia, which had 354 employees at the end of 2017, said “the loss or temporary loss of a major customer for any reason could harm our financial condition.”acacia, a roughly $1.1 billion co...





chinese ride-hailing giant didi hits accelerator on talks for ipo

china’s didi chuxing technology co., one of the world’s largest ride-hailing companies, is holding discussions about a multibillion-dollar initial public offering that could happen as soon as this year, according to people familiar with the matter. the beijing-based company has in recent weeks been in talks with bankers about the feasibility of tapping the public markets for cash in the second half of 2018, as it looks to amass a large war chest to fend off rivals in china and other countries, the people said. didi—which operates china’s largest ride-sharing platform and is expanding in latin america and other parts of asia—is hoping to fetch a valuation of at least $70 billion to $80 billion if it goes public, one of the people added. the discussions are in early stages, the people familiar said. it isn’t clear whether an ipo will happen this year, and didi hasn’t decided on a listing venue, they added.representatives for didi were unavailable for comment.separately on tuesday, didi executives announced they were considering developing a smart car customized for ride-sharing and is seeking auto makers that could manufacture the vehicle. the car is anticipated to be an electric vehicle and would be connected to the internet, allowing didi to monitor data from the car for safety by applying artificial intelligence technology. didi’s plans are worrying some automakers, who have long seen ride-hailing firms as competitors but are increasingly having to find ways ...





how professional video gamers train for a world championship

the philadelphia 76ers’ practice facility is one of the largest and most expensive in the nba—an $82 million, 125,000-square-foot behemoth that boasts a hydrotherapy room, a recording studio and a full-service restaurant. it’s the morning of a home game versus the miami heat, and the 76ers have just finished a light practice on one of two regulation-size basketball courts.meanwhile, in the strength and conditioning center next door, five women ages 22 to 27 are stretching their wrists. if not for their team-sponsor buffalo...





teaching tomorrow’s tech titans - wsj

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netflix breaks up audience romance with telenovela

mexico city—isaac lee, a top executive at mexican broadcaster grupo televisa sab, says he stays up at night worrying about people like alicia torres, the 83-year-old matriarch of a large tv viewing family. once a dedicated fan of televisa’s prime-time soap operas called telenovelas, she is now hooked on netflix.“telenovelas became overly repetitive: i love you, you love me, you betrayed me, and they lived happily ever after,” said ms. torres. she said she doesn’t think the people in her family—eight children and 19 grandchildren—“bother...





nintendo earnings: what to watch

nintendo co. is scheduled to report results for fiscal 2017, which ended march 31, after the market close on thursday. here’s what you need to know: revenue forecast: analysts expect nintendo to report revenue of ¥1.04 trillion ($9.57 billion), more than twice the year-earlier ¥498.1 billion. earnings forecast: the median operating-profit...





chinese ride-hailing giant hits accelerator on talks for potential ipo

china’s didi chuxing technology co., one of the world’s largest ride-hailing companies, is holding discussions about a multibillion-dollar initial public offering that could happen as soon as this year, according to people familiar with the matter. the beijing-based company has in recent weeks been in talks with bankers about the feasibility of tapping the public markets for cash in the second half of 2018, as it looks to amass a large war chest to fend off rivals in china and other countries, the people said. ...