BMW's Launching an Uber Competitor in Seattle
- In this wacky new world of bike shares, electric scooters, OneWheels, and transit apps, automotive companies aren’t quite famous for their inspired, innovative business moves.
- Starting today, the automaker’s ReachNow arm, which offers a car-sharing service in a handful of cities across the US, also has a ride-hailing service.
- If you happen to live in Seattle, you and your loved ones can still rent from a roving fleet of hundreds of BMW (including the electric i3) and MINI cars, scattered throughout the city.
- But you’ll also be able to hail a ride, or schedule one up to seven days in advance, for a trip with a professional driver, à la Uber Black or Lyft Lux. Call it BMW’s “throw everything at the wall and observe the sticky things” strategy.
- Still, BMW’s already thinking about how to expand this service beyond Seattle, and pondering ways to cater to cities that have different transportation needs.
RealNetworks Launches Free Facial Recognition Tool for Schools
- Over the last two years, RealNetworks has developed a facial recognition tool that it hopes will help schools more accurately monitor who gets past their front doors.
- “We feel like we’re hitting something there can be a social consensus around: that using facial recognition technology to make schools safer is a good thing,” Glaser says.
- Schools could, for instance, use facial recognition technology to monitor who's associating with who and discipline students differently as a result.
- Glaser notes, however, that the algorithm was trained using photos from countries around the world and that the team has yet to detect any such “glitches.” Still, the fact that SAFR is hitting the market with so many questions still to be ironed out is one reason why experts say the government needs to step in to regulate the use cases and efficacy of these tools.
Sacha Baron Cohen punks politicians with proposal to arm toddlers
- Sarah Palin, Alabama politician Roy Moore and former congressman Joe Walsh are among those who have lashed out at Cohen in advance, essentially turning themselves into ambassadors for Showtime's marketing department.
- Other high-profile figures will be featured over the course of the series, although the premiere opens with Bernie Sanders, indicating that Cohen's targets won't all be of one ideological stripe, even if conservatives receive the lion's share of abuse.
- "I was forced to see a doctor, and suddenly I have three diseases," Cohen's Southern conservative character tells a fidgety Sanders, seeking to illustrate the evils of Obamacare.
- As with his earlier work in this vein, including "Borat" and "Da Ali G Show," Cohen's shtick is a kind of performance art, built around just how far he can push his subjects, whose instincts to walk away or yell "cut" are curbed by the fact that they're being interviewed on camera.
BlackRock reports earnings before the bell — here's what the Street expects
- BlackRock, the largest asset manager in the world, reported on Monday second-quarter earnings and revenue that surpassed analyst expectations.
- BlackRock's effective tax rate fell to 23.7 percent in the second quarter from 30.4 percent in the year-earlier period on an adjusted basis.
- The company's assets under management grew by 11 percent on a year-over-year basis, but still missed analyst expectations.
- Institutional investors had an outflow of 8.8 billion in the second quarter, while retail investors and BlackRock's iShares business raked in $5.5 billion and $17.8 billion, respectively, in long-term inflows.
- Last week, J.P. Morgan Chase reported better-than-expected earnings and revenue for the previous quarter on a surge in trade revenue.
- Citigroup, however, reported weaker-than-expected sales for the quarter as deposits and trading revenue disappointed.
- Earlier this year, BlackRock said it launched two exchange-traded funds that excluded gun manufacturers and retailers who sell guns to civilians.
‘Downloadable Gun’ Clears a Legal Obstacle, and Activists Are Alarmed
- The willingness to resolve the case — after the government had won some lower court judgments — has raised alarms among gun-control advocates, who said it would make it easier for felons and others to get firearms.
- Some critics said it suggested close ties between the Trump administration and gun-ownership advocates, this week filing requests for documents that might explain why the government agreed to settle.
- On Thursday and Friday, the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence filed requests under the Freedom of Information Act for any documents showing how the government decided on the settlement over printable firearms, and whether organizations like the National Rifle Association or the National Shooting Sports Foundation were involved.
- But with the government adjusting the export rules that first sparked the case, Mr. Wilson will be able to freely publish blueprints for 3-D printers, said Alan M.
Pininfarina's Back With a $2 Million Electric Hypercar
- So far, Pininfarina has only shown teaser images of the vehicle, which reveal a low car with the wheels pushed out the corners (a design allowed by using electric motors instead of an engine and driveshafts) and little else.
- That’s because Pininfarina has existed as an Italian design house since 1930, penning and helping build iconic cars for Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Lancia, and so many Ferraris—64 in all—that it’s credited with helping shape the brand.
- Croatia’s Rimac builds EV powertrains (including the one installed in Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding Jaguar E-Type), and its own Concept One and Concept Two (1.85 seconds 0-60), Tesla has promised a new Roadster (0-60 in 1.9 seconds), and another Indian company, Vazirani Automotive, just revealed a turbine-electric hypercar at the UK’s Goodwood Festival of Speed (0-60 TBC).
The company that developed the Tommy gun is selling a deluxe version to the public
- The company behind the venerable Thompson submachine gun, a favorite of both gangsters and GIs, is releasing a deluxe (semi-auto) version of the Tommy gun chambered in 9 mm for public consumption.
- Thompson just over a century ago, is offering up a Thompson 1927A-1 Lightweight "Deluxe Semi-Auto" chambered in 9 mm, rather than the traditional .45 ACP for which the Tommy gun is better known.
- According to Guns.com, the deluxe interpretation of the Tommy gun is based on the Kahr Firearms Group's reimagining of the classic design in the T5-9L20 Thompson, with a frame and receiver engineered from solid aluminum and buttstock and grips cut from solid American walnut.
- The 9 mm design is "an original design by Thompson Auto-Ordnance in-house engineers, using the original Thompson platform," the company announced.