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San Francisco Chronicle Business & Technology News - Spoken Edition
2 minutes | Dec 21, 2018
Musk’s big spend; Blue Apron becomes penny stock; ex-Uber exec drives startup
Number of the day $40 million That’s how much of his own money Tesla CEO Elon Musk says he has spent on the Boring Co., which he started after becoming frustrated with traffic. Tuesday night, Musk unveiled his first effort at a network of tunnels that will whisk autonomous, electric cars — not just Teslas — underneath Los Angeles with guide wheels attached to the front tires.
3 minutes | Dec 20, 2018
Best holiday gifts for under $100
Roku Streaming Stick Plus Cnet rating: 5 stars out of 5 The good: The Roku delivers 4K and HDR video in a compact package for an affordable price. Its dead-simple interface puts every streaming service on a level playing field. Roku has more 4K HDR apps and better search than competitors. Its responses are lightning fast, its video quality as good as any streamer, and its remote can control TV volume and power.
6 minutes | Dec 19, 2018
Dow Jones industrials take second straight 2% plunge
Another day of big losses knocked U.S. stocks to their lowest levels in more than a year Monday. Investors dumped high-growth technology and retail companies as well as steadier, high-dividend companies. Oil fell below $50 a barrel for the first time since October 2017. Hospitals and health insurers slumped after a federal judge in Texas ruled that the 2010 Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional. Other stocks wobbled in morning trading, then plunged in the afternoon.
3 minutes | Dec 18, 2018
Apple likes Peanuts; GE Digital to spin off; Starbucks will deliver
China is hitting the brakes on tariffs China announced a 90-day suspension on Friday of tariff hikes on $126 billion of U.S. cars, trucks and auto parts following its cease-fire in a trade battle with Washington. The suspension is China’s first step in response to President Trump’s Dec. 1 agreement to suspend U.S. tariff hikes for a similar 90-day period while the two sides negotiate over American complaints about Beijing’s technology policy and trade surplus.
2 minutes | Dec 17, 2018
Meeker invests in Plaid, Delta tightens animal rules, Salesforce keeps growing
A Plaid farewell Famed venture investor Mary Meeker has made her final deal on behalf of Kleiner Perkins — $250 million to Plaid, which reportedly puts the value of the San Francisco company at $2.65 billion. Plaid makes developer tools that help power financial apps and services, including Venmo, Coinbase and Acorns Grow. Meeker cut ties with Menlo Park’s Kleiner Perkins in September and will begin raising funds next year for a new firm.
4 minutes | Dec 14, 2018
Protestors march on PG&E offices amid Camp Fire fallout
About two dozen people protested Pacific Gas and Electric Co. in downtown San Francisco on Tuesday, accusing the embattled utility of being responsible for California’s deadliest and most destructive wildfire. Demonstrators began with a rally in Embarcadero Plaza before marching a few blocks to PG&E headquarters. Their chants included cries of “clean power to the people” and “PG&E, no more greed, we should own our energy.
2 minutes | Dec 13, 2018
Stitch Fix falls; air travel to soar; Television City sold
Number of the day 21% That’s how much shares of Stitch Fix fell after it said that user growth will be flat in the current quarter. The online clothing service posted earnings of $10.7 million (10 cents per share) Monday, on revenue of $366.2 million, exceeding Wall Street expectations. But its disappointing outlook caused analysts to downgrade the stock. The San Francisco company said it would focus on getting its customers to spend more instead of trying to reach new users.
7 minutes | Dec 12, 2018
South Lake Tahoe’s measure to ban vacation rentals squeaks to victory
A ballot measure to ban all vacation-home rentals in South Lake Tahoe’s residential neighborhoods after three years — and reduce their occupancy limits almost immediately — has passed by margin of 58 votes, the El Dorado County Elections Department announced Tuesday in its official final results of the November elections. The City Council plans to meet Monday to accept the election results. Ten days later, Measure T will take effect, said Chris Fiore, a spokesman for the city.
7 minutes | Dec 11, 2018
Scooter mechanic, once homeless, says cheap rides now help him pay rent
Lee James’ caseworker called to tell him that after receiving government assistance to help pay the rent on a studio in the Tenderloin, he was now making too much money to qualify. “Huh. Me?” James said, laughing. “Can you do that? Can you make too much money? It’s a good problem to have, all things considered. James, 52, paid his rent in full, on his own, this month for the first time since 2015.
4 minutes | Dec 10, 2018
Why the app economy won’t touch your Christmas tree
Welcome back to Tech Chronicle. If you choose to deck your inbox with gay verbiage, make it this newsletter. Used Christmas tree: There’s not an app for that In an on-demand world, can’t you just push a button and get a Christmas tree? My fellow journalist Kara Swisher’s joke is that San Francisco is “assisted living for Millennials,” though this particular query came from a Boomer colleague.
3 minutes | Dec 7, 2018
Poynt cashes in, Sapho sells out and Simple Habit stays calm
A Palo Alto company that’s speeding credit card swipes and dips for restaurants and other retailers is now planning to expand to more countries with its recent funding. Poynt recently raised $100 million in a round of funding led by Elavon and National Australia Bank, bringing its total backing to $133 million. The new round will help Poynt expand to several countries in Europe and Asia. It will also help the company bring Poynt’s software to other makers of card-reading devices.
4 minutes | Dec 6, 2018
Tech wreck, worker shortage could slow California economy, report says
California’s economy is likely to slow next year, along with the rest of the nation’s, in part because it’s running out of workers, economists at UCLA said in their annual forecast for the state and nation, released Wednesday.
3 minutes | Dec 5, 2018
Retail in the sky: Facebook picks organic food vendor in new SF tower
Next week, grain bowls and salads will be sold to the public in a new San Francisco tower leased by Facebook — but you’ll need to take an elevator to get there. Organic food and juice company Urban Remedy is opening on Wednesday on the seventh floor of 181 Fremont, currently the city’s third-tallest tower. The store is unusually high up.
4 minutes | Dec 4, 2018
Get fit without getting fleeced
Health and fitness are year-round concerns, but as each New Year approaches, lots of us resolve to start exercising or to rev up our workouts. Some people think that putting skin in the game — paying for a membership at a health club — will provide motivation. But beware: It’s a little like Las Vegas, in that the house wins more often than it loses.
3 minutes | Dec 3, 2018
Uber fine; hash brown distraction; quick degree; slow home price rise
Number of the day $1.2 million That’s how much Uber has been fined by British and Dutch authorities for failing to protect customers’ data during a cyberattack in 2016. Britain’s Information Commissioner’s Office fined the company $491,000, and Dutch officials imposed a $679,000 fine. British officials cited “avoidable data security flaws” that allowed personal data for roughly 2.
4 minutes | Nov 30, 2018
Emanuel Luhn, longtime owner of Jeffrey’s Toys, dies at 93
Emanuel “Manny” Luhn, who owned a chain of Bay Area stores known to generations of children for the assortment of hard-to-find toys before the business was whittled down to one location, Jeffrey’s Toys, has died. He was 93. Luhn died of heart failure Oct. 23 at his Danville home, said son Jeffrey Luhn, for whom the store was named.
3 minutes | Nov 29, 2018
Google pays $1 billion for offices in biggest Bay Area sale of the year
Google has purchased the former site of LinkedIn’s Mountain View headquarters for $1 billion in the largest Bay Area real estate sale in 2018. The search giant on Monday confirmed it bought the 12-building Britannia Shoreline Technology Park, totaling 795,663 square feet. Google declined to comment further. The deal caps a year of seemingly boundless growth and investment for Google and the rest of the tech industry, with vast digital profits fueling concrete acquisitions.
4 minutes | Nov 28, 2018
For Port of Oakland, meat is a cool growth opportunity
Trade wars may be heating up, but the Port of Oakland is seeing a cool opportunity to ship more meat. The port, a major shipping hub for agricultural products, is expecting to boost beef, pork and poultry exports with a massive refrigerated storage facility called Cool Port Oakland. The $91 million depot is expected to lower costs and thereby draw more shippers. The Port of Oakland saw a 43 percent increase in meat exports to Asia from October 2015 to October 2018.
9 minutes | Nov 27, 2018
Here’s something most brokerage firms would rather you ignore
Most brokerage firms have found a subtle way to squeeze money out of their customers. The trick: switching their sweep accounts from higher-yielding money market mutual funds to lower-yielding bank accounts. Sweep accounts are the places within a brokerage account where cash from dividends, interest, stock sales and other transactions accumulates. When investors buy stock or other securities, it comes out of the sweep account automatically.
5 minutes | Nov 26, 2018
I warned you about Sheryl Sandberg
Welcome back to Tech Chronicle. If you lean in a little, you’ll find subscribing is the right option. I warned you about Sheryl Sandberg Facebook is drawing scads of negative press. Executives are bailing. And questions are arising about the company’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg. My only question: Is this 2018, or 2008? When Mark Zuckerberg hired Sandberg away from Google to be his No.
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