Fueled by pickups and small vehicles alike, monthly totals reach levels not seen since before the Great Recession.
Move over, Miley Cyrus—August belonged to the big car companies.In another strong sign of economic recovery, auto companies racked up big numbers for August. There were two major trends. Small, energy- and cost-efficient vehicles flew off the lots as budgets remained tight, oil prices rose, and carmakers rolled out appealing new products. And as a byproduct of the continuing resurgence of housing, sales of high-margin pickup trucks and SUVs also rose smartly.
The smartphone market is extremely competitive, and with its latest model, Sony may have answered every kid’s dream—a waterproof phone.
By Katrina BishopSony unveiled its latest smartphone on Wednesday, which has a five-inch display and waterproof exterior, as it ramps up efforts to take on rivals Samsung and Apple.The Japanese tech giant hopes the Xperia Z1's 20.7 megapixel camera and 27-millimeter wide-angle lens will attract new customers to Sony as well as bridge the gap between digital cameras and mobile phones.Speaking on Wednesday from the global innovations show, IFA, Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai said the phone "included the very best of Sony's camera expertise" and marked a "watershed moment" for the company.
Will sell for $299.
Samsung is firing the first shot in the battle of the smartwatches. At a trade show in Berlin today, the tech giant revealed the Galaxy Gear smartwatch, which will launch in October in the U.S. for $299. The watch has call, text, and video capabilities. Notifications from select Samsung tablets and smartphones will display on the 1.63-inch screen. A Siri-esque assistant will be included to take commands, and it can run several apps like Pocket and Snapchat. "Galaxy Gear is tomorrow's state of the art," Samsung research director Pranav Mistry told the audience.
After I slammed Burger King’s new French Fry Burger, the Internet slammed me back, with people around the world defending potatoes on sandwiches. Who knew?
Ask and ye shall receive. In my column Tuesday morning, I described Burger King’s latest “innovation,” the “French Fry Burger,” as a culinary abomination, poorly designed and poorly executed. One of the problems, I argued, was the very presence of a potato product inside a sandwich. In my experience, it’s been a pretty rare phenomenon. I asked people who knew of and loved such combinations to enlighten me via Twitter.Well, the potato-bread lovers (Tater Bots?) came out in force.
Could replace keys and PINs.
Forget 1-2-3-4-5. A new wristband, dubbed the Nymi, promises to make password stress a thing of the past by using a wearer’s heartbeat to unlock devices. The bracelet is outfitted with an electrocardiogram sensor that can identify a user and then, in theory, start up just about anything from computer networks to automobiles, says Bionym, the Toronto-based startup that engineered the device. It looks cool, and while geeks everywhere are holding their breath, the device hasn’t gone through a formal security audit yet and may be vulnerable to hacking.
Beat the Brewers for 81st win of year.
It's about time! The Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday with a 4-3 win after pinch-hitter Travis Snider homored in the ninth inning, ending the team's streak of 20 straight losing seasons. It was the 81st win with the Pirates, meaning it will not finish will a losing record—the first time since 1992. On to 82...
There will definitely be an event.
We’re a week away from getting our hands on the new iPhone(s) (probably)! On Tuesday, Apple sent out invitations to a September 10 event, which is expected to be the reveal of the iPhone 5C and 5S, but, in typical Apple fashion, all we know for sure is that there will be an event. The 5C is rumored to be the long-awaited low-cost phone, while the 5S reportedly includes a faster processor, camera, and—wait for it—possibly a fingerprint reader. A variety of color options, including gold, is expected as well.
Defraying the cost of expensive green-energy system can help families lower their operating costs.
There’s a conundrum in the green energy world. People at the lower end of the income scale would benefit most from energy- and cost-saving measures like installing solar panels or weatherizing homes. Reducing a family’s annual expenditures on energy by $1,000 has the same economic effect as boosting its annual income by $1,000. But they are also the last able to afford the upfront investments that can bring long-term savings.Grid Alternatives, a nonprofit based in California, is aiming to square this circle.
Jacques Rogge has served for 12 years.
After ushering in a new era of stability to the International Olympic Committee, President Jacques Rogge will be stepping down next Tuesday. Rogge took over as president in 2001 when the IOC was in the midst of one of its worst ethics scandals to date. “I hope that people, with time, will consider that I did a good job for the IOC,” Rogge told the Associated Press. The 71-year-old orthopedic surgeon and former Olympian earned the nickname “Mr. Clean” for enforcing a “zero-tolerance policy” on the use of performance-enhancing drugs. The incumbent’s successor will be chosen through a secret ballot on September 10.
It looked like a busy weekend for big company deals—Verizon, Nokia, Microsoft, CBS, Time Warner Cable. But ignore the fuss, writes Daniel Gross, it’s all a bunch of nothing.
It may have been Labor Day weekend, but some highly paid laborers were working around the clock. Bankers, lawyers, strategy types spent the last weekend of the summer putting the finishing touches on three big deals in the vast telecommunications/media complex: Verizon acquired the chunk of Verizon Wireless that it didn’t already own from Vodafone for $130 billion; Microsoft bought Nokia’s handset business for about $7 billion. And Time Warner Cable and CBS settled their long-running dispute.
With an Ohio Walmart hosting a holiday food drive for its own workers, The Daily Beast's Michael Tomasky criticizes the notoriously stingy company for not paying them more.
YouTube released the top trending videos of the year, featuring the Harlem Shake and a Miley Cyrus spoof—and a riddle about what a certain animal says.