Interest rates and fears of a mounting trade war send tech stocks lower

Shares of technology companies were battered in today’s trading as fears of an increasing trade war between the U.S. and China and rising interest rates convinced worried investors to sell. The Nasdaq Composite Index, which is where many of the country’s largest technology companies trade their shares, was down 219.4 points, or 3 percent, to […]

Shares of technology companies were battered in today’s trading as fears of an increasing trade war between the U.S. and China and rising interest rates convinced worried investors to sell.

The Nasdaq Composite Index, which is where many of the country’s largest technology companies trade their shares, was down 219.4 points, or 3 percent, to 7,028.48. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 395.8 points, or 1.6 percent, to 25,017.44.

Facebook, Alphabet (the parent company of Google), Apple, Netflix and Amazon all fell into bear trading territory, which means that the value of these stocks have slid more than 20 percent. CNBC has a handy chart illustrating just how bad things have been for the largest tech companies in the U.S.

Some of the woes from tech stocks aren’t necessarily trade-war related. Facebook shares have been hammered on the back of a blockbuster New York Times report detailing the missteps and misdirection involved in the company’s response to Russian interference in the U.S. elections. Investors are likely concerned that the company’s margins will shrink as it spends more on content moderation.

And Apple saw its shares decline on reports that sales of its new iPhones may not be as rosy as the company predicted — although the holiday season should boost those numbers. According to a Wall Street Journal report, Apple has cut the targets for all of its new phones amid uncertainties around sales.

The Journal reported that in recent weeks, Apple had cut its production orders for all of the iPhone models it unveiled in September, which has carried through the supply chain. Specifically, targets for the new iPhone XR were cut by one-third from the 70 million units the company had asked suppliers to produce, according to WSJ sources.

Those sales numbers had a ripple effect throughout Apple’s supply chain, hitting the stock prices for a number of suppliers and competitors.

But the U.S. government’s escalating trade war with China is definitely a concern for most of the technology industry as tariffs are likely to affect supply chains and drive prices higher.

According to a research note from Chris Zaccarelli, the chief investment officer at Independent Advisor Alliance, quoted in MarketWatch, interest rates and slowing global growth are adding to trade war pressures to drive tech stock prices down.

“Tech continues to be caught in the crosshairs of the triple threat of rising interest rates, global growth fears and trade tensions with China,” Zaccarelli wrote. “Trade war concerns with China weigh on the global supply chain for large technology companies while global growth fears worry many that future earnings will be lower,” he said.

Must-Have Deal: PlayStation Plus 12-Month Subscription Is Only $40 Right Now

Right now, it’s almost impossible to go anywhere online without tripping over an amazing deal that really needs to be taken advantage of. One of those deals is the chance to get hold of a full year’s worth of PlayStation Plus hotness for just $39.99. […

Right now, it's almost impossible to go anywhere online without tripping over an amazing deal that really needs to be taken advantage of. One of those deals is the chance to get hold of a full year's worth of PlayStation Plus hotness for just $39.99.


[ Continue reading this over at RedmondPie.com ]

Doomed Argentine sub found a year after its disappearance

Underwater drones discover wreck in South Atlantic.

The Argentine sub <em>San Juan</em>—photographed here in May 2017, just six months before its tragic loss—has been found at the bottom of an undersea ravine.

Enlarge / The Argentine sub San Juan—photographed here in May 2017, just six months before its tragic loss—has been found at the bottom of an undersea ravine. (credit: Juan Kulichevsky / Wikimedia)

Almost a year to the day after its tragic loss at sea, the Argentine Navy submarine ARA San Juan has been located. Using side-scan sonar and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), the crew of the oceanographic survey vessel Seabed Constructor found the lost sub in the bottom of an undersea ravine about 600 kilometers (approximately 375 miles) east of Comodoro Rivadavia in Argentina's Patagonia region. The submarine rests at a depth of 920 meters (more than 3,000 feet) below the surface of the South Atlantic—over three times its safe operating depth and well below the crush depth of the sub.

The San Juan was one of only two TR-1700 (or Santa Cruz) class submarines completed for the Argentine Navy by Thyssen Nordseewerke. Built in Germany, the San Juan was delivered in 1984 and underwent a major refit in 2014; other subs intended to be built for the class were put on hold or cancelled, with two unfinished subs cannibalized for parts. Much of the sub's mission in recent years was focused on surveillance operations in Argentina's exclusive economic zone in the South Atlantic, primarily to combat illegal fishing.

The announcement of the discovery came only two days after a memorial service held by family members of the crew and a day after the anniversary of the ship's loss. Recovery operations are pending, awaiting a decision by the Argentine government.

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Google Photos now lets you adjust bokeh blur and focal point of your Portrait mode shots

The new depth editor in Google photos lets you adjust the background blur and change the focus of your portrait photos after taking them, in just a few taps. You can also make the photo subject pop by leaving it in color while changing the background to black and white.

Some cool new features are coming to Google Photos for iOS, including Portrait mode bokeh editing and changing the focal point of the blur, as well as leaving the subject of your photograph in color whilst changing the background to black and white.... Read the rest of this post here


"Google Photos now lets you adjust bokeh blur and focal point of your Portrait mode shots" is an article by iDownloadBlog.com.
Make sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

Cyber Monday 2018: $199 PS4 Spider-Man, Red Dead Redemption 2 bundles sold out, other deals remain – CNET

The PS4 Slim Spider-Man and Red Dead Redemption 2 bundles appear to be sold out nearly everywhere — but stepping up to the PS4 Pro can get you a free copy of Red Dead.

The PS4 Slim Spider-Man and Red Dead Redemption 2 bundles appear to be sold out nearly everywhere -- but stepping up to the PS4 Pro can get you a free copy of Red Dead.

Grab a $100 iTunes Gift Card for just $85 right now

If you subscribe to Netflix or Apple Music through iTunes, or spend money in any of Apple’s App/iTunes/Book stores, you don’t want to pass this deal up. PayPal right now is taking 15% off of its iTunes Gift Cards, allowing you to grab a $100 card for just $85.

If you subscribe to Netflix or Apple Music through iTunes, or spend money in any of Apple’s App/iTunes/Book stores, you don’t want to pass this deal up. PayPal right now is taking 15% off of its iTunes Gift Cards, allowing you to grab a $100 card for just $85.... Read the rest of this post here


"Grab a $100 iTunes Gift Card for just $85 right now" is an article by iDownloadBlog.com.
Make sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

Black Friday has deals on every version of GoPro’s Hero7 action camera

Time to get out there and do some action stuff.

Whether you’re using them to capture your rock climb or a walk down the street, GoPro has the best cameras for capturing action. We’ve been looking at all the latest Black Friday sales, and there are quite a few GoPro deals to look forward to. Some prices and bundles are even live right now!

The Hero 7 Silver is down to $229.99 on Amazon and Target. This is a Target Black Friday deal that Amazon is matching. The action cam normally sells for $300 and has never been on sale before. The Hero7 is part of GoPro’s newest lineup, which just released in September.

The other versions of the Hero 7 are also on sale. The Hero 7 White is down to $179 at Target, and the store will throw in a $20 gift card. You can get the same price on the White model through Amazon, but there’s no gift card incentive there. Either way, the Hero 7 White usually sells for around $200.

You can also get the GoPro Hero7 Black, a $30 gift card, and a 128GB microSD ca…

Time to get out there and do some action stuff.

Whether you're using them to capture your rock climb or a walk down the street, GoPro has the best cameras for capturing action. We've been looking at all the latest Black Friday sales, and there are quite a few GoPro deals to look forward to. Some prices and bundles are even live right now!

The Hero 7 Silver is down to $229.99 on Amazon and Target. This is a Target Black Friday deal that Amazon is matching. The action cam normally sells for $300 and has never been on sale before. The Hero7 is part of GoPro's newest lineup, which just released in September.

The other versions of the Hero 7 are also on sale. The Hero 7 White is down to $179 at Target, and the store will throw in a $20 gift card. You can get the same price on the White model through Amazon, but there's no gift card incentive there. Either way, the Hero 7 White usually sells for around $200.

You can also get the GoPro Hero7 Black, a $30 gift card, and a 128GB microSD card all for just $399.99 through Best Buy. While you aren't getting a direct discount on the camera itself, the extras might just make this the best value. Since the Hero7 Black normally sells for this price, all the extras are essentially free.

If a budget is your focus, you could also go for the GoPro Hero Session for $116.23. While it did drop to that price in September, it's the lowest this action camera has ever gone.

See on Amazon

Move over Le Creuset? A new cookware startup founded by and for millennials is getting down to business

Sometimes, it’s hard to imagine a product or industry that a new e-commerce startup hasn’t tried to remake already, from slippers to mattresses, from luggage to lipstick. Yet two childhood friends in New York have seemingly struck on a fresh idea: taking on the stodgy and often expensive world of cookware, where one’s options out of college are usually limited to […]

Sometimes, it’s hard to imagine a product or industry that a new e-commerce startup hasn’t tried to remake already, from slippers to mattresses, from luggage to lipstick.

Yet two childhood friends in New York have seemingly struck on a fresh idea: taking on the stodgy and often expensive world of cookware, where one’s options out of college are usually limited to a few pieces of Calphalon or Farberware or, in the best-case scenario, some Le Creuset, the premium French cookware manufacturer founded back in 1925 and known for its vibrant colors, including Marseille, Cerise, and Soleil.

In fact, what the pair are building with their 10-month-old startup, Great Jones, appears to be a Le Creuset for the next generation: a handful of cookware items, including a cast-iron Dutch oven, that come in an array of colorful, if comparatively more muted, tones. (Think Broccoli and Mustard.)

The cookware is also more affordable than Le Crueset, which charges upward of $300 for a similar Dutch oven, compared with $145 for Great Jones’s new product. In fact, Great Jones’s full collection, which also includes a stainless steel stock pot, a stainless sauce pot, a stainless deep saute and a ceramic nonstick skillet, retails for $395.

Cookware is a smart sector to chase. According to the market consultancy IBIS World, the so-called “kitchen and cookware stores” industry has been growing steadily, reaching revenue of $17 billion last year.

One of the big question questions for Great Jones will be whether its offerings hold up, and whether its customers find them compelling enough to recommend to others.  After all, the old adage tends to hold up that you get what you pay for. And most new products take off because of favorable word of mouth, not merely because they’re Instagrammable.

Great Jones’s 28-year-old founders — Sierra Tishgart, previously a food editor at New York Magazine, and Maddy Moelis, who worked in customer insights and product management at a variety of e-commerce companies, including Warby Parker and Zola — seem to have thought these things through. Indeed, in a recent Forbes profile, they say they conducted extensive interviews with chefs and cookbook authors in their network in order to establish, for example, how to design a comfortable handle.

They also made certain that their introductory offerings came in a range of metals. (Stainless steel is ideal for browning and braising; durable nonstick coatings make preparing delicate foods, including eggs and pancakes, less nightmarish.)

In the meantime, Great Jones has easily captured the press’s imagination with what they are cooking up, a sign, perhaps, that the industry is ready for a refresh. In addition to Forbes, Great Jones also received recent coverage in the New York Times and Vogue — valuable real estate that most months-old startups can only dream of landing.

Great Jones has also raised outside funding already, including $2.75 million that it closed on last month led by venture capital firm General Catalyst, with participation from numerous individual investors.

Now, the company just needs to convince its target demographic that it should ditch the older, established brands that may not feel particularly modern but are known to be durable, easy to clean, dishwasher safe, and not insanely heavy (among the other things that keep people from throwing their pots in the garbage).

Great Jones also has plenty of newer competition to elbow out of the way if it’s going to succeed.

As the Times piece about the company notes, just a few of the other startups that are suddenly chasing the same opportunity include Potluck, a five-month-old, New York-based startup that sells a $270 “essentials bundle” that features 22 pieces, including utensils; Misen, a four-year-old, Brooklyn-based startup that sells cookware and chefs knives; and Milo, a year-old, L.A.-based startup that’s solely focused on Dutch ovens, to start.

According to Crunchbase, Misen has raised $2 million, including through a crowdfunding campaign; Milo has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding.

Today in brighter crypto news: SEC says tokens are securities

Crypto news got a little boost last week after a dark month of crashes, stablecoins, and birthdays. The SEC ruled that two ICO issuers, CarrierEQ Inc. and Paragon Coin Inc., were in fact selling securities instead of so-called utility tokens. “Both companies have agreed to return funds to harmed investors, register the tokens as securities, […]

Crypto news got a little boost last week after a dark month of crashes, stablecoins, and birthdays. The SEC ruled that two ICO issuers, CarrierEQ Inc. and Paragon Coin Inc., were in fact selling securities instead of so-called utility tokens.

“Both companies have agreed to return funds to harmed investors, register the tokens as securities, file periodic reports with the Commission, and pay penalties,” wrote Pamela Sawhney of the SEC. “These are the Commission’s first cases imposing civil penalties solely for ICO securities offering registration violations.”

From the release:

Airfox, a Boston-based startup, raised approximately $15 million worth of digital assets to finance its development of a token-denominated “ecosystem” starting with a mobile application that would allow users in emerging markets to earn tokens and exchange them for data by interacting with advertisements. Paragon, an online entity, raised approximately $12 million worth of digital assets to develop and implement its business plan to add blockchain technology to the cannabis industry and work toward legalization of cannabis. Neither Airfox nor Paragon registered their ICOs pursuant to the federal securities laws, nor did they qualify for an exemption to the registration requirements.

This behavior – a sort of “damn the torpedoes” for the Fintech set – was all the rage at the beginning of the year as no clear guidance was available for filing security tokens – essentially pieces of company equity – versus utility tokens which were, in theory, used within the company ecosystem. In fact ICOed companies contorted themselves into all sorts of knots to appear to fit their “utility token” within the torturous confines of securities law.

“We have made it clear that companies that issue securities through ICOs are required to comply with existing statutes and rules governing the registration of securities,” said Stephanie Avakian, Co-Director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division. “These cases tell those who are considering taking similar actions that we continue to be on the lookout for violations of the federal securities laws with respect to digital assets.”

The SEC fined both companies $250,000 each. Future ICOs, at least in the U.S., would do well to keep this in mind.