Business

They’re watching Yahoo

[ad_1] A FAILED turnaround and then, last month, the biggest data breach from a single site in history. Yahoo, an online firm, has had a bad run of news. On October 4th came a fresh blow when Reuters, a newswire, reported that the company had written customised software to scan all incoming e-mail for certain keywords, complying with a request ...

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Quick and dirty

[ad_1] THERE are 68,000 firms listed around the world, most of which have little in common. Yet one thing unites bosses from Shanghai to San Francisco—the sense that capitalism has become too hyperactive, forcing them to take ever shorter-term decisions at the expense of their owners and of society. It’s as close to received wisdom as you can get in ...

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Change of tune

[ad_1] IT WAS an eventful summer in the business of streaming music. Taylor Swift and other artists attacked YouTube over rampant free streaming. Frank Ocean and Katy Perry cut exclusive deals with Apple Music, to the dismay of executives at Spotify, a Swedish rival. Behind the scenes, Pandora, a radio-like service, and Amazon, an e-commerce giant, stepped up their efforts ...

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In formation

[ad_1] The A380 rarely flies economy TEN years ago this September Airbus’s first A380 superjumbo, laden with passengers, took to the skies over Toulouse. Airbus’s bosses hoped that the world’s largest jetliner, the first with two full decks, would help the European planemaker get even with its American rival, Boeing. But problems quickly mounted. In October 2006 Airbus revealed the ...

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Don’t limit the revolution

[ad_1] THE limited-liability company is one of man’s greatest inventions. The company encourages co-operation by allowing people to join together under the same organisational roof, regardless of race, creed or nationality. Limited liability encourages investment by limiting people’s downside risk—they can lose only the cash they put in the corporation. Put the two things together and you have an institution ...

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Blot on the landscape

[ad_1] IT TOOK a while to join the dots. On the morning of September 13th owners of several types of HP OfficeJet, a printer designed for the home and for smaller offices that is manufactured by HP Inc, an American seller of printers and computers, switched on their machines and found them not quite the same. The night before they ...

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Doesn’t ad up

[ad_1] They drink but you still can’t trust them ADVERTISING WEEK, an annual stretch of industry meetings that began on September 26th in New York, is usually defined by schmoozing and self-congratulation. This year’s event has been marred by suspicion. In the week leading up to it, Dentsu Aegis, a big agency, admitted overbilling by its digital-ad division in Japan; ...

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Jump-start

[ad_1] THE trajectory of Nintendo’s stock price in the past year has been worthy of the vaults and free-falls of a particularly exhilarating round of “Super Mario Bros”. The Japanese video-gaming firm’s hit title helped start the era of living-room gaming over three decades ago, when it introduced Mario, the pudgy Italian plumber, to millions. But recently Nintendo has failed ...

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Prick up your ears

[ad_1] The dog heard my homework WHEN Apple in early September introduced a new iPhone without a jack for headphones, together with pricey wireless earbuds that you speak into, it did not take long for mocking videos to appear online. In one, an enterprising soul reveals a “secret hack” to get back the jack: he drills a hole into a ...

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Not always in clusters

[ad_1] IRELAND’S Atlantic coast is sheep-rearing and pilgrim country. The drive to Tuam, a modest town of 9,550 residents, reveals mostly lush fields, low hills, stone walls and mist. Yet this unlikely spot has a hi-tech industrial side. Off Tuam’s main road a bunch of warehouses contains some 400 software engineers, researchers and artificial-intelligence experts, drawn from 35 countries. Next ...

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Mixed messages

[ad_1] LI KEQIANG, China’s prime minister, made a big promise to the world’s leading businessmen at the World Economic Forum’s annual gathering in Davos in January 2015. It was that China would introduce a new legal regime for foreign investment that would “treat Chinese and foreign companies as equals”. Its government has duly unveiled a set of revisions to its ...

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Who’s self-driving your car?

[ad_1] But can it fly? WITH its successful test of robo-taxis on the streets of Pittsburgh last week, Uber has dominated recent headlines on autonomous vehicles. But behind the scenes three groups—technology giants such as Uber, carmakers and a whole fleet of autoparts suppliers—are in a tight race. Each is vying to develop the hardware and software that make up ...

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Welding bells

[ad_1] Plenty more where that came from FEW industries are in worse shape than China’s steel sector. Years of over-investment and a cooling economy have resulted in vast excess supply. Crude steel-making capacity reached a record level of 1.2 billion tonnes at the end of 2015. China’s steelmakers lost some $10 billion last year, with more than 90% of those ...

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Look, no claims!

[ad_1] ON THE list of industries set to be disrupted by autonomous cars, the motor-insurance business can claim a high place. The regime of compulsory insurance in rich countries, with the insurer of the at-fault driver paying for damage, is reasonable in a world where 90% of accidents are caused by human error. But autonomy is supposed to mean that ...

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Split ends

[ad_1] LAST month Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), an American firm that owns financial exchanges, said it would do a stock split, dividing each of its existing shares into five new ones. The split won’t increase ICE’s underlying value—slicing a pizza three or four times doesn’t make it bigger. But an old Wall Street rule of thumb holds that more shares with ...

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The freaks are coming

[ad_1] PowerPoint slide, Berlin style ROCKET INTERNET has just moved into a splendid, red building in central Berlin, around the corner from Checkpoint Charlie. The lease runs for the next 15 years, a signal of intent from a firm that brags of becoming the biggest online conglomerate outside America and China. Inside, everything is new. Alexander Kudlich, the managing director, ...

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Mistry’s elephant

[ad_1] CHIEF executives in the West share some familiar gripes: quarterly-results-obsessed analysts who make it impossible to think about the long term; activists pressing for change before investments come to fruition; and sluggish economic growth. How envious they must be of Cyrus Mistry, the boss of the Tata Group, India’s largest conglomerate. Its central firm, Tata Sons, is unlisted. Tata ...

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Against happiness

[ad_1] LORD Percy of Newcastle, Britain’s minister of education in 1924-29, was no fan of the fad for happy-clappy “progressive” education that spread among the country’s schools on his watch. He declared that it was all nonsense: “a child ought to be brought up to expect unhappiness.” This columnist feels the same suspicion of the fashion for happy-clappy progressive management ...

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