Tech

WASHINGTON - Verizon Communications said Tuesday it would temporarily limit some 5G deployment around airports, in a move aimed at averting a major aviation safety crisis. Verizon said it "voluntarily decided to limit our 5G network around airports" but would still launch its 5G Ultra Wideband network Wednesday. The announcement follows AT&T's decision earlier Tuesday to halt some tower deployments near airports. Airlines had warned without a delay near airports hundreds of daily flights or more could have been canceled or impacted. (Reporting by David Shepardson, Editing by Franklin Paul)...
By Steven Scheer JERUSALEM -Israel's parliament will seek an explanation from police over the force's reported use of a controversial hacking tool against citizens of the country, a senior legislator said on Tuesday. Without citing sources, the Calcalist financial daily said police have possessed the Pegasus spyware made by Israel's NSO Group - which is now on a U.S. government blacklist -- since 2013. Calcalist said the police used it against targets including anti-government protest leaders, sometimes without the required court warrants. The report added a new domestic angle to global pressure on Israel following allegations that Pegasus has been abused by some foreign client governments to spy on human rights activists, journalists and politicians. Responding to the Calcalist report, Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai said the force had acquired third-party cyber technology, but he stopped short of confirming or...
By David Shepardson WASHINGTON -AT&T said it would agree to temporarily defer turning on some wireless towers near key airport runways to avert a looming aviation crisis but the White House is still pushing Verizon Communications to follow suit. Discussions are centered around that proposal that would also allow about 90% of the wireless tower deployment to go forward, sources told , though it would impact 5G deployment near many large population centers. Two of the sources said it would require delaying just over 500 towers from being activated near airports. The vast majority are Verizon towers. "We are frustrated by the FAA’s inability to do what nearly 40 countries have done, which is to safely deploy 5G technology without disrupting aviation services," AT&T said. The announcement came as the White House is working to prevent a massive disruption in flights ahead of Wednesday's scheduled 5G deployment a...
By Michelle Price WASHINGTON - U.S. regulators need to provide more clarity on the rules of the road for cryptocurrencies and other digital assets amid ongoing confusion over what activities are allowed, a top banking executive said on Tuesday. "We're hoping for more clarity around digital assets," Emily Portney, chief financial officer for Bank of New (BNY) York Mellon Corp, the country's tenth largest lender, told in an interview. "Frankly, it's a bit confusing about who actually regulates digital assets and especially crypto … and of course exactly what you can or cannot do," said Portney, speaking after the bank posted a 17% rise in fourth quarter profits. Portney's comments highlight growing frustration among banking industry executives as U.S. President Joe Biden's regulators have taken a cautious approach to digital assets. With cryptocurrencies surpassing $3 trillion in November, banks are keen to enter the space...
WASHINGTON - AT&T said Tuesday it had voluntarily agreed to temporarily defer turning on a limited number of towers around certain airport runways in a bid to address an aviation safety standoff. "We are frustrated by the FAA’s inability to do what nearly 40 countries have done, which is to safely deploy 5G technology without disrupting aviation services, and we urge it do so in a timely manner," AT&T said Tuesday. "We are launching our advanced 5G services everywhere else as planned with the temporary exception of this limited number of towers." (Reporting by David Shepardson, Editing by Franklin Paul)...
By Elizabeth Culliford - NFT marketplace OpenSea on Tuesday said it had bought Dharma Labs, a digital wallet for cryptocurrencies, for an undisclosed amount, and said Dharma's chief executive officer would become OpenSea's chief technology officer. OpenSea, which was founded in 2017 and was recently valued at $13.3 billion in its latest round of venture funding, said the deal would help it "dramatically improve the experience of buying, minting, and selling NFTs" on its marketplace. NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are a type of digital asset which exist on the record-keeping technology blockchain. They have exploded in popularity over the last year, with people buying artworks and video highlights from sports games as NFTs. Sales of NFTs reached some $25 billion in 2021, according to data from market tracker DappRadar, although there were signs of growth slowing toward the end of the year. OpenSea declined to sh...
(Refiles for typo in headline) By Tom Hals WILMINGTON, Del -Tesla Inc shareholders urged a judge on Tuesday to find Elon Musk coerced the company's board into a 2016 deal for SolarCity and asked that the chief executive be ordered to pay the electric vehicle company one of the largest judgments ever of $13 billion. "This case has always been about whether the acquisition of SolarCity was a rescue from financial distress, a bailout, orchestrated by Elon Musk," said Randy Baron, an attorney for shareholders, at the start of his closing arguments. The closing arguments recounted key findings from a 10-day trial in July when Musk spent two days on the stand defending the deal. The lawsuit by union pension funds and asset managers alleges that Musk strong-armed the Tesla board into approving the deal for the cash-strapped SolarCity, in which Musk was the top shareholder. Musk has countered that the deal...
By Steven Scheer JERUSALEM - The Israeli official in charge of police pledged on Tuesday to ensure that electronic surveillance in criminal investigations is conducted by the book after a newspaper reported illicit use of a controversial hacking tool against citizens of the country. Without citing sources, the Calcalist financial daily said Israeli police have possessed the Pegasus spyware made by Israel's NSO Group - which is now on a U.S. government black list -- since 2013. Calcalist said the police used it against targets including anti-government protest leaders, sometimes without the required court warrants. The report added a new domestic angle to global pressure on Israel following allegations that Pegasus has been abused by some foreign client governments to spy on human rights activists, journalists and politicians. Responding to the Calcalist report, Israeli police did not confirm or deny using Pega...
WASHINGTON - The Biden administration is "actively engaged" with wireless carriers, airlines, airplane manufacturers and key federal agencies to address a looming aviation crisis, a senior administration official told . Airlines are preparing to cancel a significant number of passenger and cargo flights in the coming hours to prepare for AT&T and Verizon's new 5G C-Band service that starts on Wednesday, after warning on Monday of "catastrophic" impacts. Airlines want wireless carriers to not turn on some wireless towers near airport runways in a bid to avoid most of the flight disruptions. (Reporting by David Shepardson)...
By Toby Sterling AMSTERDAM - ASML Holding NV, a key supplier to computer chip makers, is expected to report a 12% increase in quarterly net profit on Wednesday and update customers on whether a fire at its factory in Berlin could affect production plans. Analysts are expecting ASML, Europe's largest technology company by market capitalisation, to report fourth quarter net profit of 1.51 billion euros ($1.72 billion), up from 1.35 billion euros a year earlier, according to Refinitiv data. Sales are expected to rise 20% to 5.1 billion euros. ASML is trying to expand production as its customers - which include TSMC, Samsung Intel - invest heavily in new capacity to try to ease a global semiconductor shortage. ASML said in September it was benefiting from long-term trends in the electronics industry and should double-digit sales growth in the coming decade. However, investors received a shock at t...
- Electric vehicle charging network and equipment company Blink Charging said on Tuesday it would supply EV chargers at General Motors (GM) dealerships in the United States and Canada. Blink said it would collaborate with facility solutions provider ABM Industries to supply its IQ 200 Level 2 chargers to dealerships across North America. The company added that it had already shipped chargers to some GM dealerships in the U.S. and has orders in hand to supply more in the coming months. Level 2 charging can generally provide a vehicle with about 18-28 miles of range per hour and is widely found in places of employment and commercial establishments. GM, which currently makes the Bolt EV and Bolt EUV, will deliver an electric version of the Silverado pickup truck starting fall of 2023. (Reporting by Akash Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)...
By Elizabeth Howcroft LONDON - Metaverse gaming company Animoca Brands raised nearly $360 million in a funding round led by Liberty City Ventures, the company said on Tuesday, valuing the firm at more than $5 billion. Animoca Brands - an Australian company with headquarters in Hong Kong - invests in and builds blockchain-based online virtual worlds, in which assets such as land can often be bought in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs). It has invested in more than 150 NFT and metaverse-related companies. In many so-called metaverse environments, users can buy land, walk around as avatars, play games and meet friends. The term became a tech and business buzzword last year. Metaverse-related companies saw a flurry of investment and metaverse platforms' crypto tokens surged, boosted by Facebook changing its name to "Meta" to signal its commitment to the concept. Meanwhile, NFTs exploded in popul...
- Media entrepreneur Byron Allen's Allen Media Group (AMG) struck a multi-year deal with Google Cloud on Tuesday, through which the Alphabet Inc-owned company will provide cloud services to the entertainment firm. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Media companies are increasingly signing up cloud partners for hosting content and analytics to get a bird's-eye view of content metrics across platforms. Google Cloud provides services to a host of media clients, including Comcast Corp-owned media group Sky and Major League Baseball. Through the deal, AMG said it would double down on its streaming service offerings to audiences worldwide and push its content on YouTube TV. AMG runs ten cable TV networks such as The Weather Channel and Entertainment Studios, its movie production unit. Meanwhile, the company's top boss Byron Allen is currently pursuing a bid to acquire U.S. regional TV operator Tegna Inc.   (Reporting by Yuvraj Malik in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel...
MILAN - Italian microelectronics company Technoprobe aims for a market value of up to 4 billion euros ($4.55 billion) in its initial public offering on the Milan stock exchange, two sources close to the matter said on Tuesday. The group, which is the world's second-largest manufacturer of so-called probe cards used for the functioning of chips, said earlier on Tuesday it planned to launch the share offering by the end of the first quarter, aiming for a free float of around 20% post listing. The group reported revenues of 329.5 million euros in 2020 with a core profit of around 159 million euros. ($1 = 0.8798 euros) (Reporting by Elisa Anzolin; editing by Agnieszka Flak)...
- Electric truck maker Nikola Corp said on Tuesday it has entered into a deal with Proterra Inc for the long term supply of batteries for its semi-trucks. Nikola's trucks fitted with Proterra's batteries are expected to be produced in the fourth quarter of 2022 with prototypes systems being delivered to the truck maker in the second quarter, the company said. Earlier in October 2021, Nikola said that it had entered into a long-term supply agreement with LG Energy Solution for supply of batteries from 2022 through 2029. "With the growing demand for the Nikola Tre BEV and FCEV, we have actively pursued battery supply through a dual source strategy," Nikola's Chief Executive Officer Mark Russell said in a statement on Tuesday. Proterra, which makes batteries for commercial electric vehicles, said in December that it would open a new battery manufacturing factory in South Carolina as demand grows. Nikola in the rec...
By Elvira Pollina MILAN - Telecom Italia (TIM) General Manager Pietro Labriola will on Tuesday outline to the company's directors his plan to revamp the former phone monopoly, an alternative strategy to weigh against a takeover approach by U.S. fund KKR. TIM, which on Friday is expected to appoint Labriola nL8N2TR2DC chief executive, is yet to respond to KKR's non-binding 10.8 billion euro ($12.28 billion) proposal which is contingent on support from TIM's board and Italy's government. Labriola's final plan, which the board will examine on March 2 when it meets to discuss full-year results, will provide a benchmark for TIM to evaluate the price of 0.505 euros per share KKR indicated in its Nov. 19 proposal. Doubts over whether KKR's tender offer will materialise weighed on TIM shares on Tuesday, which fell 3.2% by late morning, underperforming a 0.8% all-share index drop. Upcoming presidential nL8N2TS307elect...
- Microsoft Corp said on Tuesday it would buy videogame publisher Activision Blizzard in an all-cash transaction valued at $68.7 billion. (Reporting by Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)...
JERUSALEM - Global venture capital fund Entree Capital said on Tuesday it raised $300 million for two new Israel-focused funds that aim to invest in early-stage Israeli startups. The move bring funds under management to $1 billion, it said. Entree said the new financing will enable it to invest largely in the areas of DeepTech, FinTech, Software as a Service (SaaS), DevOps and Web 3.0 - Crypto/Blockchain - Data/Cloud Infrastructure, as well as consumer and foodtech. Its Israel Early Stage Fund IV will provide pre-seed and seed funding to Israeli startups targeting deals of $500,000 to $6 million. Its Israel Early Growth Fund II will focus primarily on early-stage funding rounds - series A and B - with investments of $5 million to $15 million, which will allow Entrée to be a lead investor or participant in other deals, it said. Over the past decade, Entree has backed more than 130 Israeli startups including Monday.com and Ris...
By Dawn Chmielewski and Lisa Richwine LOS ANGELES - Netflix Inc will be the first major streaming service to report earnings this week, offering investors a sign of whether companies have started to pull in enough new customers to justify big spending on online programming in 2022. The dominant streaming service reports fourth-quarter results on Thursday. Wall Street will watch for how many customers Netflix picked up overseas as the pace of streaming growth levels off from torrid pandemic gains of 2020. Wall Street is watching to see if the streaming wars are paying off as companies add high-profile and expensive shows such as Walt Disney Co's new reality series with the Kardashian family, a "Lord of the Rings" series on Amazon.com Inc's Prime Video and a "Game of Thrones" prequel on AT&T Inc's HBO Max. Netflix raised prices on Friday in its biggest market, the United States and Canada, where analysts say growth is sta...
By Stephen Nellis - Microchip design software maker Cadence Design Systems Inc is betting on growth from automakers and other chip users strapped by global supply shortages who face mounting competition from rivals such as Tesla Inc and Apple Inc that design their own chips. Cadence and rivals Synopsys Inc and Siemens EDA are at the center of a microchip industry shift as cloud computing providers, software makers and others who traditionally have bought semiconductors from a few big companies now want to draw up their chips own in-house. Tesla, Apple and Alphabet Inc's Google are among the leaders of in-house design. Executives across industries have taken note of how custom chips help set products apart, said Anirudh Devgan, who became Cadence's chief executive last month and whose firm counts Tesla and Apple as key clients. Developing a chip costs around $100 million, but artificial intelligence is reducing costs, even a...