Latest Blogposts

  • In case it wasn’t clear before, it’s officially OK for Starbucks to carry on with its current ice-to-product ratio in its cold drinks.

    A federal judge has dismissed a proposed class action a disgruntled Starbucks (SBUX) customer filed against the company in May. That lawsuit claimed that “Starbucks’ advertising practices are clearly meant to mislead customers when combined with the standard practice of filling a cold drink cup with far less liquid than the cup can hold.”

    Putting it in Starbucks-centric terms, the lawsuit specified that when a Venti Cold Drink cup is filled up to the top black line “they are only pouring about 14 fluid ounces of Cold Drink into the cup, not 24 fluid ounces,” because of the excess amount of ice.

    In dismissing the case, Judge Percy Anderson likened the plaintiff to a child: “If children have figured out that including ice in a cold beverage decreases the amount of liquid they will receive, the Court has no difficulty concluding that a reasonable

    Read More »from ‘Too much ice’ and other reasons people attacked America’s favorite brands
  • Ever wish you could reach out and touch objects while immersed in VR?

    Thanks to Dexta Robotics, that may soon be possible.

    The Dexmo is a high-tech glove

    that allows you to explore the size, shape, and stiffness of objects in the virtual realm.

    The glove’s force feedback provides variable resistance …

    … based on the items you touch during your virtual experience.

    The Dexmo isn’t market ready yet, but

    the possible educational, medical, and recreational applications seem virtually endless.

    SOURCE: https://www.engadget.com/2016/08/24/dexmo-exoskeleton-glove-force-feedback/
    SOURCE: http://www.dextarobotics.com/

    Read More »from Exoskeleton glove adds physical experience to virtual reality
  • Stocks slip ahead of Jackson Hole

    Wall Street treads lightly as central bankers flock to Jackson Hole. With volatility down and stocks trading in a tight range, are investors ignoring some warning signs ahead? Catch The Final Round at 4 p.m. ET with Jen Rogers and Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer.

    Winners and losers

    Stocks getting hit today include retailer Express as same-store sales fell steeply last quarter, GPS device-maker Garmin slipping as Goldman downgrades shares to sell, and La-Z-Boy — the furniture and recliner-maker dropping after missing on both the top and bottom line. Is the mancave trade slipping here?

    Stocks in the green today include Clovis Oncology as traders bid shares higher following positive news on its ovarian cancer treatment, La Croix and Shasta maker National Beverage Company on strong profit and revenue beat, and Fitbit – shares of the wearables-maker pacing higher today after the US International Trade Commission ruled in its favor during an ongoing case brought by Jawbone. The

    Read More »from Stocks slip ahead of Jackson Hole
  • In what may be the most bizarre marketing gimmick we’ve seen all week, movie theatre company Cineplex Entertainment is attempting to pop a bag of popcorn using lightning.

    Located in a field in Tilbury near Windsor, Ont., a 20-foot popcorn bag stands with a lightning rod extending from it, in an attempt to draw lightning and spark the popcorn kernels inside the bag.

    Canadians can vote whether they think the popcorn will actually pop by visiting Cineplex.com/Popcorn, and watch a 24/7 livestream of the action (or lack thereof). The stunt is part of Cineplex’s #WeatherorNot campaign, running this summer to remind potential movie-goers that the theatre is the perfect place to hide when the weather isn’t ideal.

    “Lightning is an extremely complex phenomenon that strikes 44 times per second across the planet,” said Mark Robinson, meteorologist at The Weather Network, in a press release. “The Cineplex Lightning Popcorn bag is located right in the heart of Canada’s lightning alley, a likely spot

    Read More »from Cineplex attempts to pop popcorn with lightning in marketing stunt
  • Sometimes we tell white lies to spare another person’s feelings and as it turns out, some of us may do the same for a robot.

    The findings come from a study by researchers at the University of Bristol and University of College London, who sought to discover ways to create an effective partnership between robots and humans, given the inevitable future where they’ll work side-by-side. 

    In particular, researchers were interested in creating a trusting environment, given that, despite being machines, they too aren’t perfect and will make mistakes.

    To simulate these conditions, the study asked 23 participants – 12 men and 11 women, between the ages of 22 and 72 with a range of experience with artificial intelligence – to work alongside a robot named BERT2 who was tasked with passing them eggs, salt and oil to make an omelette.

    BERT2 has a humanoid face with a digital interface, which has large eyes and a mouth, and is capable of multiple expressions.

    The BERT2 platform with neutral expression (left) and BERT C's facial expression on egg drop (right)The BERT2 platform with neutral expression (left) and BERT C's facial expression on egg drop (right)

    However, participants worked with three

    Read More »from People tell white lies to protect the feelings of robots: study
  • 5 ways to save money when traveling abroad

    There’s no way around it: Traveling internationally isn’t cheap. Still, it doesn’t have to put you in debt. Here are few money-saving tips to cut back on expenses. 

    First, pay less to convert currency

    Those money exchange kiosks at airports usually charge you a higher exchange rate and may even charge you a fee. For better rates, take out money at an ATM, which typically charges a fee of 1% to 3%.

    An ATM is the best choice for cash, but otherwise it’s usually more cost-effective to use your credit card for purchases when traveling abroad. Using plastic is the best way to avoid unnecessary fees, however, the majority of cards will charge a foreign transaction fee which can add 3% to every purchase. Instead, consider using one of these cards that doesn’t have a foreign transaction fee.

    Don’t be afraid to negotiate

    If you’re visiting a market, or just buying souvenirs from a street vendor, haggle a little. Adopt the mantra “I’m OK with walking away,” and vendors will see that you’re a

    Read More »from 5 ways to save money when traveling abroad
  • Stocks (^DJI^GSPC^IXIC) are under pressure at midday, with utilities (XLU) leading the way down, and financials (XLF) the least in the red. Keith Bliss of Cuttone & Co. joins us live from the New York Stock Exchange.

    To discuss the other big stories of the day, Justine Underhill is joined by Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer and Yahoo Finance’s Dan Roberts.

    Judge dismisses Starbucks case
    There’s nothing wrong with the amount of ice in your Starbucks drink. A California judge dismissed a proposed class-action lawsuit accusing the coffee chain of under-filling its iced drinks. Did this case have any real merit to begin with?

    Ten reasons to reorganize Buzzfeed
    BuzzFeed, the social news and entertainment site, is reorganizing, again. The company is planning a split into two distinct divisions: news and entertainment, according to Vanity Fair. Why is Buzzfeed making another change?

    Qatar is in a New York state of mind
    The Empire State meets the Qatari State. Qatari’s

    Read More »from Qatar buys $622M Empire State Building stake with oil money
  • Yahoo Finance is tracking the stocks you’re following, based on your Yahoo Finance ticker searches.

    Express (EXPR) — The retailer is under pressure after reporting weak sales. Express reported that its comparable sales fell 8% in the second quarter and expects third-quarter sales growth in the negative high single to low double digits.

    Garmin (GRMN) — Goldman Sachs (GS) downgraded the stock to sell from neutral with a price target of $46. The investment firm is concerned about slowing growth in its key fitness and outdoor division.

    Pfizer (PFE) — The pharmaceutical giant is buying part of AstraZeneca’s (AZN) antibiotics business for up to $1.575 billion. The deal is for three approved antibiotics and two drugs in clinical trials.

    Best Buy (BBY) — JPMorgan (JPM) raised its price target for Best Buy’s stock, upping it to $35 per share from $30. JPMorgan’s move comes after the company’s sales and profits beat analyst expectations in the second quarter.

    Fitbit (FIT) — A US International

    Read More »from Express shares crash; Goldman Sachs says sell Garmin; Pfizer reaches deal with AstraZeneca

  • Broadly speaking, it’s been a brutal summer for hedge funds.

    Hedge funds have continued to suffer from sizable redemptions, with investors yanking another $25.2 billion in the month of July alone, bringing year-to-date outflows to $55.9 billion, according to a new eVestment Hedge Fund Asset Flows report.

    In June, investors pulled $23.5 billion from hedge funds, the report noted.

    If this keeps up, the hedge fund industry could be track for its first year of net outflows since the financial crisis.

    “In terms of cumulative magnitude, the redemption pressures facing the hedge fund industry in the last two months are reminiscent of the second half of 2011, when in a four month span investors redeemed an estimated $42.0 billion. Unless these pressures recede, 2016 will be the third year on record with net annual outflows, and first since the outflows in 2008 and 2009, a result of the global financial crisis,” eVestment’s Peter Laurelli wrote in the report.

    Credit and multi-strategy hedge

    Read More »from Investors yanked $25.2 billion from hedge funds in July alone
  • Apple's new iPhone rumored to have curved screen

    The anticipation for Apple’s new iPhone launch this year is running high, leaving techies everywhere to speculate on what new features to expect.

    No one knows for sure, but one big leak is a curved screen similar to rival Samsung’s Galaxy S7 Edge and Galaxy Note 7.

    According to the Nikkei Asian Review, Apple will be releasing three different models this year:

    A 4.7-inch model, a 5.5-inch and a premium that will have a 5.5-inch or larger screen bent on both sides.

    Apple has not confirmed any details, so we’ll just have to wait and see for ourselves.

    Source: http://www.cnet.com/news/apple-may-launch-third-iphone-with-curved-screen-next-year/

    Read More »from Apple's new iPhone rumored to have curved screen
  • Marc Faber. Credit: Sebnem Coskun | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images.

    The global balance of economic power has notably shifted over the past decade.

    Now emerging and developing economies account for almost 60% of global gross domestic product (GDP).

    Understanding the full scope of these changes, and the new roles of these participants in the global economy, is essential for investors looking to position their portfolios for the future.

    Marc Faber, editor and publisher of the Gloom, Boom & Doom Report, shared his perspective on these shifting dynamics along with his concerns that policy makers have increased the risk of unintended economic consequences, at the 2016 Financial Analysts Seminar in Chicago.

    China occupies an important space in the current economic landscape. The country embraced the infrastructure growth model to catapult itself into a high-growth phase — following the examples set by Japan starting in 1950 and the Asian Tiger economies of South Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore in

    Read More »from Marc Faber: The current system in the developed markets is not sustainable
  • Tim Cook's five-year run as Apple's CEO

    Wall Street is in a wait-and-see mode. Stocks (^DJI^GSPC^IXIC) were mostly lower in early trading as investors remain cautious ahead of Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s speech later this week.

    Pfizer (PFE) shares remain in the spotlight. The US drug maker that bought cancer drug firm Medivation (MDVN) just a couple of days ago is now buying part of AstraZeneca’s (AZN) antibiotics business. The deal could be valued at more than $1.5 billion.

    FitBit (FIT) shares got a healthy pop ahead of the open after a US trade judge ruled late Tuesday that the maker of wearable fitness trackers did not steal trade secrets from rival Jawbone. However, a final decision on the verdict will happen by the end of the year.

    Express (EXPR) shares fell to a 52-week low in early trading. The retailer cut its earnings outlook for the year after delivering a miss on both its top and bottom lines for its fiscal second quarter. Revenue fell nearly 6% from a year ago as sales in existing stores came in much weaker than

    Read More »from Tim Cook's five-year run as Apple's CEO
  • Do you feel clueless about the stock market? Already invested in equities but itching to diversify? Here are four companies that provide alternative investment opportunities that may pique your interest. These investments come with unusual risks, they’re not for everyone, and we’re certainly not endorsing or recommending any of them. Prospective investors should do their homework and even consult a financial advisor before thinking about getting into these.

    Fundrise

    • Minimum investment: $1000
    • Don’t need to be an accredited investor (accredited investors need to have a net worth exceeding $1 million OR your income over each of the last two years must exceed $200,000)

    Fundrise is a real estate crowdfunding platform that’s attempting to get rid of barriers to entry for those who want to invest in real estate but don’t have the know-how or capital to do it on their own. Fundrise focuses on midsize assets, which they claim provide opportunities better risk-adjusted returns (and is less

    Read More »from You don’t need to commit a million dollars to invest in these alternative assets
  • Language has become the latest battleground for regulators looking to monitor the slow creep of ride-sharing and driver-hire platforms like Uber.

    The San Francisco-based company is suing the City of London in the U.K. over new regulations from Transport for London (TfL), the city’s transport authority, including one requiring private-hire drivers coming from a non-English speaking majority country to pass a language test.

    “We support spoken English skills, but this exam is harder than the test for British citizenship,” wrote Alana Saltzman, Uber UK and Ireland spokesperson, in an emailed response to Yahoo Canada Finance. (Uber Canada did not respond to repeated requests).

    While the English proficiency has gained the lion’s share media coverage, the tech company cites three other grievances including the requirement for “hire and reward” insurance even when vehicles aren’t in use, the requirement to inform TfL of changes to their operating model “before they are made” and a rule that

    Read More »from Is language the new front for regulators in the battle against Uber?
  • Debt delinquency amongst millennials was up 12 per cent in the second quarter of this year. Youth unemployment hit 13.3 per cent in July with 28,400 jobs lost across Canada. The housing markets are out of control and millennials are still living in their parents’ basements. But if there’s any solace to be had in poverty-focused charity Oxfam’s new report on global youth, it’s that we’re all in this together. No really, millennials are feeling the squeeze worldwide.

    “There’s a huge swath of people all across the planet in that age bracket that are poor and poorer than the people in the same age of the generation before them,” says Kelly Bowden, manager of campaigns for Oxfam Canada. “(But) there is no one who is escaping the impact of the inequality gap – whether you’re teenagers, millennials or baby boomers, it’s affecting every one.”

    Millennials, she says, just happen to be having a harder time bouncing back from the economic downturn.

    The report cites a study last year by Dr. Paul

    Read More »from Adults in their late 20s, early 30s have it worse than the previous generation: study

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