Resilient U.S. Growth Propels Stocks as Trade Fears Ease

Resilient U.S. Growth Propels Stocks as Trade Fears Ease

FINANCE NEWS
Investors are piling back into stocks and unwinding massive bets on haven assets, illustrating renewed faith that a resilient U.S. consumer can continue powering economic growth. Billions of dollars have flowed into funds that track stocks in recent days, and measures of investor sentiment show increased optimism. Last week’s rally, which pushed major U.S. stock indexes to the cusp of records, was led by shares of banks and small companies tied to the domestic economy. Those sectors have lagged behind in recent months but are staging one of their fastest rallies in years. At the same time, Treasurys and gold, popular destinations for skittish investors, have taken a U-turn as fears have eased about a looming recession. Driving the reversal: hopes for coming trade talks with China and a spate…
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What Is Thunderbolt 3? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

What Is Thunderbolt 3? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

DIGITAL NEWS
Peripheral cables are hard enough to keep track of without cutesy terms like “Thunderbolt” and nonsense names like “Type C.” Thunderbolt 3 — the best version of the connection tech — may be particularly confusing, having gone through several different phases since making the jump from Apple to laptops and PCs in general. But knowing the difference between these ports is important, especially when you’re thinking about which computer is right for you. These days, don’t be surprised if you look at a new laptop and see nothing but “USB-C” and “Thunderbolt.” What exactly is it? Let’s take a look. The Thunderbolt 3 of today Bill Roberson/Digital TrendsBill Roberson/Digital Trends Championed by Apple, Thunderbolt technology has been around since the late 2000s, but by the time Thunderbolt 3 showed up in…
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Junk Debt Sends Early Warning Signals

Junk Debt Sends Early Warning Signals

FINANCE NEWS
Warning signals are starting to flash in the market for junk debt, an indicator that investors are worried that companies with high debt loads could be at risk even if the U.S. economy avoids recession.The current change in sentiment is modest compared with the one that hit high-yield bonds in December. But it continued through a recent surge in demand for Treasurys and investment-grade corporate debt. The combined trends expose cracks in the recent rally that has powered the Dow Jones Industrial Average to within 0.6% of its July record. Forecasting downturns in corporate debt has been tricky since the financial crisis. Central bankers have been reluctant to raise interest rates for fear of triggering a slowdown. The resulting decade of cheap money allowed riskier companies to borrow more to…
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Companies Slow to Move Away From Libor

Companies Slow to Move Away From Libor

FINANCE NEWS
The world is moving toward a new short-term lending benchmark to replace the troubled London interbank offered rate. Companies don’t seem to be in a rush to keep pace. Fewer than half of 177 companies surveyed by consulting firm Accenture are confident they will be prepared for Libor’s demise, scheduled for the end of 2021. Libor, which is linked to trillions of dollars of financial contracts, is used to determine rates for everything from some variable-rate mortgages to corporate loans. However, a manipulation scandal revealed grave flaws in the way the rate is calculated. That set off a scramble to find a replacement, no easy task. But it is a vital one: Properly setting the rates on business and consumer loans can determine whether such loans are affordable for borrowers…
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Fitbit Versa 2 Review: You’ll Like The Watch, But Not The Subscription

Fitbit Versa 2 Review: You’ll Like The Watch, But Not The Subscription

DIGITAL NEWS
Fitbit Versa 2 review: The subscription smartwatch “The Fitbit Versa 2 has excellent battery life, but important fitness insights are locked behind a subscription.” Affordable Multi-day battery life Native sleep tracking On-device music storage Intuitive interface Offers few insights (without paying extra) Can’t stream from Spotify Looks like an Apple Watch knock-off Alexa is largely useless When the Fitbit Versa debuted, it filled a niche for people who wanted smartphone notifications but championed wellness first. It was a good compromise between the two, but didn’t quite deliver fully in either regard. The Fitbit Versa 2 is even more like a smartwatch than ever before, with Alexa and Spotify integration as well as an AMOLED screen, but fitness insights — quite literally — come at a cost with Fitbit Premium, a…
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A.I.-Generated Adventure Game Rewrites Itself Every Time You Play

A.I.-Generated Adventure Game Rewrites Itself Every Time You Play

DIGITAL NEWS
What would an adventure game designed by the world’s most dangerous A.I. look like? A neuroscience grad student is here to help you find out. Earlier this year, OpenAI, an A.I. startup once sponsored by Elon Musk, created a text-generating bot deemed too dangerous to ever release to the public. Called GPT-2, the algorithm was designed to generate text so humanlike that it could convincingly pass itself off as being written by a person. Feed it the start of a newspaper article, for instance, and it would dream up the rest, complete with imagined quotes. The results were a Turing Test tailor-made for the fake news-infused world of 2019. Of course, like Hannibal Lecter, Heath Ledger’s Joker, or any other top-notch antagonist, it didn’t take GPT-2 too long to escape…
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Windows 10 Update to Fix Cortana Bug Breaks Some Users’ Start Menus

Windows 10 Update to Fix Cortana Bug Breaks Some Users’ Start Menus

DIGITAL NEWS
Another day, another Windows 10 update issue. The problem this time is that a fix rolled out for a Cortana bug has caused further issues of its own, by breaking the start menu of some users. A few weeks ago there was an issue with the KB4512941 update for Windows 10, which caused some users to see massive spikes in CPU usage by voice assistant program Cortana. Microsoft’s voice assistant has never taken off the way that Alexa or Siri has, but it has limped along as a bundled feature of Windows despite having few passionate users. Microsoft hopes to change that with a standalone version of Cortana that launched in beta in the Microsoft Store in June. That didn’t help users who are stuck with the Cortana bug though, who…
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How to Set Up a Chromecast

How to Set Up a Chromecast

DIGITAL NEWS
Google has made its Chromecast so easy to use that virtually anyone with a smartphone, tablet, or laptop can stream their favorite shows or movies on their television in a matter of seconds — making everything from the setup right through to selecting something to watch about as simple as can be. But simple doesn’t always mean fast. While firing up a streaming service and selecting a show to watch takes no more than a few seconds, there is some legwork required to get things working the first time you take your Chromecast out of the box — and we’re here to make sure it goes smoothly. Before you start setting up your shiny new Chromecast or Chromecast Ultra, you’re going to want to make sure you have a decent…
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Google Will Promote Original Reporting in Its Search Rankings

Google Will Promote Original Reporting in Its Search Rankings

DIGITAL NEWS
Google has announced it will elevate “original reporting” in search and news results, promoting in-depth news coverage which includes elements of investigation. It hopes that this will draw attention to quality news stories and credit individuals or publications that break news stories. “In today’s fast-paced world of news, the original reporting on a subject doesn’t always stay in the spotlight for long,” Google Vice President of News, Richard Gingras, said in a blog post. “This can make it difficult for users to find the story that kicked everything off… While we typically show the latest and most comprehensive version of a story in news results, we’ve made changes to our products globally to highlight articles that we identify as significant original reporting.” Google says that news coverage which includes original…
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Hubble Scientists Find New Way to Measure the Age of Star Clusters

Hubble Scientists Find New Way to Measure the Age of Star Clusters

DIGITAL NEWS
This image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope reveals an ancient, glimmering ball of stars called NGC 1466. ESA/Hubble & NASAThis Hubble image shows a scene within the bounds of our galactic neighbor, the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) galaxy. This particular object, called NGC 1466, is a type of star cluster called a globular cluster — a group of stars that are held together by gravity and which move together through the edges of the LMC. It is located 160,000 light-years away from Earth. Together, NGC 1466 weighs the equivalent of 140,000 of our Sun and is extremely old. Scientists calculate it is 13.1 billion years old, which is nearly as old as the universe itself. The object provides more than just a pretty picture, however. Observations from Hubble have…
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