Snap just got an upgrade, but analysts warn TikTok is a looming risk in the fight for social media ad dollars

Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts upgraded Snap to a “buy” on Friday, but warned that the rise of social media rival TikTok could be a risk to the call. TikTok, which is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, is a mobile app on which users can share and easily edit short videos. Analysts said investors have raised concerns over the competitive threat TikTok presents to Snap, but said consumers use Snap and TikTok for different purposes. However, the analysts wrote, “We think there is some risk o


Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts upgraded Snap to a “buy” on Friday, but warned that the rise of social media rival TikTok could be a risk to the call.
TikTok, which is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, is a mobile app on which users can share and easily edit short videos.
Analysts said investors have raised concerns over the competitive threat TikTok presents to Snap, but said consumers use Snap and TikTok for different purposes.
However, the analysts wrote, “We think there is some risk o
Snap just got an upgrade, but analysts warn TikTok is a looming risk in the fight for social media ad dollars Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-18  Authors: megan graham
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, apps, social, tiktok, upgrade, warn, snap, media, wrote, looming, short, different, videos, users, dollars, fight, risk


Snap just got an upgrade, but analysts warn TikTok is a looming risk in the fight for social media ad dollars

Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts upgraded Snap to a “buy” on Friday, but warned that the rise of social media rival TikTok could be a risk to the call.

TikTok, which is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, is a mobile app on which users can share and easily edit short videos. Across its suite of apps and around the globe, ByteDance now claims 700 million daily active users. Meanwhile, Snap said its user base grew to 203 million daily active users in July when it reported second quarter earnings.

In a research note Friday, Bank of America analysts outlined reasoning for the upgrade, but listed one risk: “Pressure from TikTok” appears to be behind an expected decline in monthly users on Snapchat.

Analysts said investors have raised concerns over the competitive threat TikTok presents to Snap, but said consumers use Snap and TikTok for different purposes.

“In our view, many consumers use both applications interchangeably for different use cases, Snap being a private, community driven messaging and professional content platform and TikTok being a ‘viral’ short video sharing application,” they wrote. “In our view, the current TikTok interface, which consists of mainly ‘viral’ short-form video does not pose a significant threat to Snap’s use case.”

However, the analysts wrote, “We think there is some risk of TikTok making product changes that move closer to Snap’s core functionality, and TikTok will likely compete for ad dollars.”

Snap will report third-quarter earnings on October 22.

eMarketer Principal Analyst Debra Aho Williamson said in an emailed comment that Snapchat will start to feel more competition for user time and attention from TikTok, if it hasn’t already.

“Both apps feature vertical, short, user-generated videos. Although teens use the apps in different ways, the allure of watching and creating TikTok videos is currently very strong in this demographic group,” she wrote.

But Snap is making a strong effort for ad dollars with new updates like dynamic ads, which Williamson said appeal to performance advertisers and help put Snapchat’s ad offerings to a closer level with Facebook’s.

“However, the competition for ad dollars is intense. Facebook and Google still control most of the digital ad market, and new entrants like TikTok are catching interest among advertisers,” she wrote.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-18  Authors: megan graham
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, apps, social, tiktok, upgrade, warn, snap, media, wrote, looming, short, different, videos, users, dollars, fight, risk


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Samsung admits to major security flaw in its phones that lets anyone bypass fingerprint sensors

Samsung on Friday explained a major security flaw that could let anyone’s fingerprint unlock its Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Note 10 family of phones. “This issue involved ultrasonic fingerprint sensors unlocking devices after recognizing 3-dimensional patterns appearing on certain silicone screen protecting cases as users’ fingerprints,” Samsung said, referring to the in-screen fingerprint reader on its newest phones. CNBC tested using a third-party screen protector and with a clear plastic case plac


Samsung on Friday explained a major security flaw that could let anyone’s fingerprint unlock its Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Note 10 family of phones.
“This issue involved ultrasonic fingerprint sensors unlocking devices after recognizing 3-dimensional patterns appearing on certain silicone screen protecting cases as users’ fingerprints,” Samsung said, referring to the in-screen fingerprint reader on its newest phones.
CNBC tested using a third-party screen protector and with a clear plastic case plac
Samsung admits to major security flaw in its phones that lets anyone bypass fingerprint sensors Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-18  Authors: todd haselton
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, major, bypass, unlock, cover, screen, lets, fingerprint, using, admits, sensors, samsung, galaxy, flaw, security, updated, users, phones


Samsung admits to major security flaw in its phones that lets anyone bypass fingerprint sensors

Samsung on Friday explained a major security flaw that could let anyone’s fingerprint unlock its Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Note 10 family of phones.

“This issue involved ultrasonic fingerprint sensors unlocking devices after recognizing 3-dimensional patterns appearing on certain silicone screen protecting cases as users’ fingerprints,” Samsung said, referring to the in-screen fingerprint reader on its newest phones. “To prevent any further issues, we advise that Galaxy Note10/10+ and S10/S10+/S10 5G users who use such covers to remove the cover, delete all previous fingerprints and newly register their fingerprints.”

The flaw came to light on Thursday. CNBC was unable to re-create the flaw on a demo Galaxy Note 10 device, but it seems that it requires a silicone case that also protects the screen. CNBC tested using a third-party screen protector and with a clear plastic case placed over the screen. Still, Samsung warns against using any front screen protective cover for now.

“If you currently use front screen protective covers, to ensure optimum fingerprint scanning, please refrain from using this cover until your device has been updated with a new software patch,” the company said.

“A software update is planned to be released as early as next week, and once updated, please be sure to scan your fingerprint in its entirety, so that the all portions of your fingerprint, including the center and corners have been fully scanned.”

The flaw is especially worrisome because fingerprint sensors not only unlock Samsung phones, but also enable payments through the company’s Samsung Pay system.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-18  Authors: todd haselton
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, major, bypass, unlock, cover, screen, lets, fingerprint, using, admits, sensors, samsung, galaxy, flaw, security, updated, users, phones


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73% of Americans rank their finances as the No. 1 stress in life, according to new Capital One CreditWise survey

This week Capital One released the results of a new CreditWise survey, in connection with National Get Smart About Credit Day. The results found that finances are the number-one cause of stress (73%) — more than politics (59%), work (49%) and family (46%). With CreditWise, users can learn more about the key factors that impact your credit score, get email alerts whenever your credit report changes and monitor your credit information. If you have good or excellent credit, you may qualify more for


This week Capital One released the results of a new CreditWise survey, in connection with National Get Smart About Credit Day.
The results found that finances are the number-one cause of stress (73%) — more than politics (59%), work (49%) and family (46%).
With CreditWise, users can learn more about the key factors that impact your credit score, get email alerts whenever your credit report changes and monitor your credit information.
If you have good or excellent credit, you may qualify more for
73% of Americans rank their finances as the No. 1 stress in life, according to new Capital One CreditWise survey Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-17  Authors: alexandria white
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, stress, rank, life, credit, survey, creditwise, card, youre, capital, finances, americans, according, score, users, stressed


73% of Americans rank their finances as the No. 1 stress in life, according to new Capital One CreditWise survey

If the state of your finances is stressing you out, you’re far from alone.

This week Capital One released the results of a new CreditWise survey, in connection with National Get Smart About Credit Day. The results found that finances are the number-one cause of stress (73%) — more than politics (59%), work (49%) and family (46%).

Younger generations are even more stressed out about finances than older generations with the majority of Gen Z’ers (82%) and millennials (81%) saying finances are at least somewhat stressful.

The survey unsurprisingly found that major life events can trigger financial stress as well. More than half (62%) were stressed about their money in relationship to buying a house, 61% were stressed because of a car purchase.

Despite finances being a major cause of stress, respondents are optimistic about their financial future. Roughly two in five (42%) said they expect to be better off financially in a year from now.

However, they may not know how to achieve those goals. Only 16% of respondents are very familiar with how to improve their credit score, but more than half of the respondents (59%) are interested in learning more.

Capital One provides a free credit score and report dashboard, CreditWise. It’s free to use, and anyone can join — you don’t need to have a Capital One account.

With CreditWise, users can learn more about the key factors that impact your credit score, get email alerts whenever your credit report changes and monitor your credit information. There’s also a simulator feature that allows you to see how certain actions may impact your credit score, such as paying off debt, carrying a balance or applying for a loan. The simulator only provides estimates of the potential negative or positive impacts and the actual results may differ.

“There are millions of CreditWise users, and hundreds of thousands of those users who had a score of zero when they enrolled have since established a credit score,” Chris Gatz, head of CreditWise at Capital One, tells CNBC Select.

It can be smart to use a credit monitoring program to keep an eye on your credit score, as that three-digit number can have a big impact on the kind of credit cards you will qualify for. Typically, the higher your credit score, the better card offers you receive.

If you have good or excellent credit, you may qualify more for the best rewards credit cards, such as the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, or a balance transfer credit card, such as the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card, compared to someone who has bad credit.

If you’re credit is subpar, you’re not out of luck. Secured cards are a great way to build credit, and CNBC Select recommends the Discover it® Secured.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-17  Authors: alexandria white
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, stress, rank, life, credit, survey, creditwise, card, youre, capital, finances, americans, according, score, users, stressed


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Bill Gates: ‘Government needs to get involved’ to regulate big tech companies

It’s time for the government to step in and regulate big tech companies, says Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. Gates expects that one area where we’re likely to see additional government regulation of tech companies is around the issue of data privacy. Facebook, Google and other tech companies (Microsoft included) have been rocked by a series of privacy scandals in recent years that affected millions of users’ personal information. “There will be more regulation of the tech sector, things like p


It’s time for the government to step in and regulate big tech companies, says Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.
Gates expects that one area where we’re likely to see additional government regulation of tech companies is around the issue of data privacy.
Facebook, Google and other tech companies (Microsoft included) have been rocked by a series of privacy scandals in recent years that affected millions of users’ personal information.
“There will be more regulation of the tech sector, things like p
Bill Gates: ‘Government needs to get involved’ to regulate big tech companies Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-17  Authors: tom huddleston jr
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, bill, regulation, platforms, needs, privacy, regulate, users, involved, companies, interview, need, tech, online, big, gates


Bill Gates: 'Government needs to get involved' to regulate big tech companies

It’s time for the government to step in and regulate big tech companies, says Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.

With tech giants like Google, Facebook, Amazon and others exerting so much influence over culture and the economy, not to mention users’ daily lives, it’s become necessary for lawmakers to become more involved in how those companies deal with essential issues like privacy and cyberbullying, Gates said in an interview posted online by Bloomberg on Wednesday.

“Technology has become so central that government has to think: What does that mean about elections? What does that mean about bullying?” Gates said in the interview, which took place at the Economic Club of Washington, DC in June. “So, yes, the government needs to get involved.”

Gates expects that one area where we’re likely to see additional government regulation of tech companies is around the issue of data privacy. Facebook, Google and other tech companies (Microsoft included) have been rocked by a series of privacy scandals in recent years that affected millions of users’ personal information.

“There will be more regulation of the tech sector, things like privacy … there should be, at some point, federal regulation that relates to that,” Gates said.

Meanwhile, the fact that more and more people today get their information online, including from social media platforms, has sparked concerns from regulators over whether or not tech companies are taking enough precautions to stop the spread of misinformation on their platforms. Count Gates among those who believe that government regulations could help ensure that the information being widely disseminated on many of those online platforms can be trusted.

“The fact that, now, this is the way people consume media has really brought it into a realm where we need to shape it so that the benefits need to outweigh the negatives,” he said in the interview.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-17  Authors: tom huddleston jr
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, bill, regulation, platforms, needs, privacy, regulate, users, involved, companies, interview, need, tech, online, big, gates


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Vatican launches $110 smart Rosary bracelet that tracks your prayers

The Vatican has launched a $110 “eRosary” in a bid to encourage tech-savvy Catholics to pray. Launched Tuesday, the wearable smart device links to an app designed to teach users how to pray with Rosary beads. The eRosary, available on Amazon as well as the Vatican’s own website, can be worn as a bracelet and is activated by making the sign of the cross. The rosaries are crafted together using 10 beads and a metal cross that detects movement and stores data.


The Vatican has launched a $110 “eRosary” in a bid to encourage tech-savvy Catholics to pray.
Launched Tuesday, the wearable smart device links to an app designed to teach users how to pray with Rosary beads.
The eRosary, available on Amazon as well as the Vatican’s own website, can be worn as a bracelet and is activated by making the sign of the cross.
The rosaries are crafted together using 10 beads and a metal cross that detects movement and stores data.
Vatican launches $110 smart Rosary bracelet that tracks your prayers Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-17  Authors: chloe taylor
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, wearable, 110, smart, bracelet, teach, vaticans, rosary, website, vatican, erosary, using, prayers, worn, tracks, users, techsavvy, launches


Vatican launches $110 smart Rosary bracelet that tracks your prayers

The Vatican has launched a $110 “eRosary” in a bid to encourage tech-savvy Catholics to pray.

Launched Tuesday, the wearable smart device links to an app designed to teach users how to pray with Rosary beads.

The eRosary, available on Amazon as well as the Vatican’s own website, can be worn as a bracelet and is activated by making the sign of the cross.

The rosaries are crafted together using 10 beads and a metal cross that detects movement and stores data.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-17  Authors: chloe taylor
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, wearable, 110, smart, bracelet, teach, vaticans, rosary, website, vatican, erosary, using, prayers, worn, tracks, users, techsavvy, launches


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Mobile bank Chime goes dark for millions of customers as it seeks $5 billion valuation

Card transactions and ATM withdrawals have since been restored, and employer deposits are posting, Chime said Thursday in a statement. But the main touchpoint for Chime’s 5 million users – its mobile app and website – is still down after more than 24 hours. “I completely acknowledge the fact that we feel like we let” users down, Chime CEO Chris Britt said in a telephone interview. Chime has been experiencing torrid growth lately, going from 1 million users in mid-2018 to more than 5 million this


Card transactions and ATM withdrawals have since been restored, and employer deposits are posting, Chime said Thursday in a statement.
But the main touchpoint for Chime’s 5 million users – its mobile app and website – is still down after more than 24 hours.
“I completely acknowledge the fact that we feel like we let” users down, Chime CEO Chris Britt said in a telephone interview.
Chime has been experiencing torrid growth lately, going from 1 million users in mid-2018 to more than 5 million this
Mobile bank Chime goes dark for millions of customers as it seeks $5 billion valuation Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-17  Authors: hugh son kate rooney, hugh son, kate rooney
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, banks, fintech, bank, outages, seeks, users, goes, valuation, billion, mobile, dark, chime, million, customers, millions, outage, card, galileo


Mobile bank Chime goes dark for millions of customers as it seeks $5 billion valuation

Chris Britt, CEO, Chime Source: Chime

Chime, the leading branchless bank in the U.S., is in the midst of a service outage that has left millions of customers without access to their accounts. Issues cropped up Wednesday, leaving users stranded at restaurants, parking garages and gas stations, unable to use their debit cards or pay their bills, according to interviews and complaints posted to the bank’s Twitter account. Card transactions and ATM withdrawals have since been restored, and employer deposits are posting, Chime said Thursday in a statement. But the main touchpoint for Chime’s 5 million users – its mobile app and website – is still down after more than 24 hours. “I completely acknowledge the fact that we feel like we let” users down, Chime CEO Chris Britt said in a telephone interview. “One of our core values is being member obsessed. Our customers love being connected, they want to know what their balances are in real time. And when people don’t have access to the app, we understand how incredibly frustrating that is.”

The outage, reportedly Chime’s third since July, comes at a sensitive time for the San Francisco start-up. Chime has been experiencing torrid growth lately, going from 1 million users in mid-2018 to more than 5 million this year. That has put the firm in the vanguard of an industry that is beginning to take off in the U.S. after the rise of so-called challenger banks in the U.K. and Europe. Chime was in the process of raising new funding from investors at a valuation of at least $5 billion, Axios reported earlier this month. Taking advantage of frustration among bank customers, it has lured users with the promise of zero fees, a two-day advance on paychecks and a seamless experience. But the thesis of Chime and other startups has been that physical branches were an unnecessary relic of the days when banks gave customers free toasters with new checking accounts. Now, customers are beginning to question whether that thesis rings true anymore. “I can’t access anything; if I wanted to transfer money out of my savings account, how am I supposed to do that?” said Bruce Banko, who works in customer support in St. Petersburg, Florida. “I tried calling them but I couldn’t get through.” Banko sent this screenshot of his Chime mobile app: It’s unclear if the outage will impact Chime’s valuation, and Britt declined to comment on anything to do with his bank’s fundraising effort. The outage was caused by an issue with the database of payment processor Galileo, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The Salt Lake City, Utah-based software company said it began experiencing an “operational incident” on Tuesday affecting its ability to “support transactions for a small number of our clients and their customers.” “We are actively working to restore full mobile application functionality, which is currently unavailable or slow to respond,” Galileo said in a statement. “We are committed to actively resolving the situation and returning to normal operations as quickly as possible.” Galileo announced a $77 million funding round on Thursday, led by Accel. The company connects banks to credit card processors through APIs, and counts Robinhood, Monzo, Revolut, Varo and TransferWise as customers.

Hardest hit

While Galileo serves a constellation of fintech firms, it appears that Chime has been impacted the most. That calls into question the robustness of the firm’s technology stack, or perhaps its reliance on vendors. Galileo customer Revolut said that “no services were affected”. Varo, another client, said it “experienced a minor disruption in processing” but that these issues are now mostly resolved. Monzo and Transferwise did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment. Many challenger banks lean on third parties to connect to a payment network. It reduces the complexity of integrating directly with a company like Visa or Mastercard. But that can come with issues around downtime and outages. “If this third party goes down, then to the user of the app, in this case Chime, the card no longer works,” said Simon Taylor, head of venture at fintech consulting group 11FS. “As companies like Chime hit scale we’re likely to see these outages become more common.” Service outages were especially common two years ago in the U.K., where challenger banks like Monzo and Revolut gained popularity after the financial crisis. Those outages eventually caused fintech companies to take their payment processing in house, according to Taylor. Chime and many of its digital banking peers partner with FDIC-insured banks instead of getting a banking license themselves. It’s a popular set up for fintech companies: The banks handle the federally regulated side while start-ups focus on their users’ experience. Chime works with Bancorp Bank, and earns revenue from debit card transaction fees paid by merchants.

‘We feel horrible’


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-17  Authors: hugh son kate rooney, hugh son, kate rooney
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, banks, fintech, bank, outages, seeks, users, goes, valuation, billion, mobile, dark, chime, million, customers, millions, outage, card, galileo


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Twitter explains when it will remove abusive tweets by world leaders

Twitter on Tuesday clarified its stance around abusive tweets by world leaders, laying out a number of “enforceable offenses” that could result in their tweets being removed. Earlier this year, Twitter said it would begin flagging tweets from influential government officials who violate its rules around bullying and offensive behavior. “We want to make it clear today that the accounts of world leaders are not above our policies entirely,” the company wrote in a blog post. “This post seeks to pro


Twitter on Tuesday clarified its stance around abusive tweets by world leaders, laying out a number of “enforceable offenses” that could result in their tweets being removed.
Earlier this year, Twitter said it would begin flagging tweets from influential government officials who violate its rules around bullying and offensive behavior.
“We want to make it clear today that the accounts of world leaders are not above our policies entirely,” the company wrote in a blog post.
“This post seeks to pro
Twitter explains when it will remove abusive tweets by world leaders Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-15  Authors: annie palmer
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, twitter, leaders, post, world, violate, remove, company, today, content, tweets, explains, users, abusive


Twitter explains when it will remove abusive tweets by world leaders

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey addresses students during a town hall at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in New Delhi, India, November 12, 2018.

Twitter on Tuesday clarified its stance around abusive tweets by world leaders, laying out a number of “enforceable offenses” that could result in their tweets being removed.

Earlier this year, Twitter said it would begin flagging tweets from influential government officials who violate its rules around bullying and offensive behavior.

The company said it hasn’t had to use this feature yet, but in cases where it does, users won’t be able to like, retweet or share the offending content. Users will still be able to quote-tweet the post to “express their opinion,” Twitter added.

“We want to make it clear today that the accounts of world leaders are not above our policies entirely,” the company wrote in a blog post. “This post seeks to provide clear insight into how we address content from world leaders on Twitter today, and will serve as our statement on the decisions we make, rather than our teams providing feedback on individual Tweets and decisions.”

Among the behaviors that could force Twitter to take action include promoting terrorism, direct threats of violence against an individual, sharing private information or intimate photos, engaging in child sexual exploitation and encouraging or promoting self-harm, the company said.

Twitter announced the new rules in June after it received widespread criticism over failing to take action on tweets from President Donald Trump and other leaders that appear to violate its content policies.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-15  Authors: annie palmer
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, twitter, leaders, post, world, violate, remove, company, today, content, tweets, explains, users, abusive


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Former Apple employees are making a deadbolt that you unlock with your phone, and it’s backed by Walmart

John Martin and Ken Goto, Level Home Founders Level HomeJohn Martin had just driven with his entire family through a snowstorm to a vacation house at Lake Tahoe when he realized he forgot his keys. After waiting 45 minutes for the locksmith, Martin, who had been an executive at Nokia and Apple, had an idea for a better lock, one that he could control with his phone. Level Lock is a $250 deadbolt enabled with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. It’s essentially a computerized lock that users can control through


John Martin and Ken Goto, Level Home Founders Level HomeJohn Martin had just driven with his entire family through a snowstorm to a vacation house at Lake Tahoe when he realized he forgot his keys. After waiting 45 minutes for the locksmith, Martin, who had been an executive at Nokia and Apple, had an idea for a better lock, one that he could control with his phone. Level Lock is a $250 deadbolt enabled with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. It’s essentially a computerized lock that users can control through
Former Apple employees are making a deadbolt that you unlock with your phone, and it’s backed by Walmart Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-15  Authors: kif leswing
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, founders, bluetooth, unlock, deadbolt, martin, employees, users, level, apple, lock, goto, control, walmart, ken, backed, phone, making


Former Apple employees are making a deadbolt that you unlock with your phone, and it's backed by Walmart

John Martin and Ken Goto, Level Home Founders Level Home

John Martin had just driven with his entire family through a snowstorm to a vacation house at Lake Tahoe when he realized he forgot his keys. After waiting 45 minutes for the locksmith, Martin, who had been an executive at Nokia and Apple, had an idea for a better lock, one that he could control with his phone. Martin called it a “founders’ moment” in an interview with CNBC. Three years and $71 million in funding later, that lock is now available to buy from Level Home, a 50-person company Martin founded along with Ken Goto, who had also worked at Apple. Level Lock is a $250 deadbolt enabled with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. It’s essentially a computerized lock that users can control through an associated app. For example, users can unlock their doors through Bluetooth with their phones, or send a text message with a pass to a guest if they need to get into their house.

Level Lock Level Home


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-15  Authors: kif leswing
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, founders, bluetooth, unlock, deadbolt, martin, employees, users, level, apple, lock, goto, control, walmart, ken, backed, phone, making


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Medicare open enrollment is underway. Here’s what’s new and what to watch out for

Martin Barraud | Getty ImagesIt’s the time of year for people on Medicare to give their coverage a checkup. “Each insurance carrier revisits their [drug] formulary and they renegotiate provider contracts,” said Elizabeth Gavino, founder of Lewin & Gavino in New York and an independent broker and general agent for Medicare plans. Also during that initial sign-up time, you can sign up for an Advantage Plan, which includes Parts A and B and, typically, a Part D prescription plan. Meanwhile, you als


Martin Barraud | Getty ImagesIt’s the time of year for people on Medicare to give their coverage a checkup. “Each insurance carrier revisits their [drug] formulary and they renegotiate provider contracts,” said Elizabeth Gavino, founder of Lewin & Gavino in New York and an independent broker and general agent for Medicare plans. Also during that initial sign-up time, you can sign up for an Advantage Plan, which includes Parts A and B and, typically, a Part D prescription plan. Meanwhile, you als
Medicare open enrollment is underway. Here’s what’s new and what to watch out for Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-15  Authors: sarah obrien
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, available, advantage, services, prescription, whats, plans, enrollment, coverage, watch, heres, plan, open, underway, medicare, users


Medicare open enrollment is underway. Here's what's new and what to watch out for

Martin Barraud | Getty Images

It’s the time of year for people on Medicare to give their coverage a checkup. The program’s annual enrollment period runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, which is when you can make changes to your coverage that will take effect Jan. 1. During this window, you can: • Switch to an Advantage Plan from original Medicare (Part A hospital coverage and Part B outpatient care); • Switch to original Medicare from an Advantage Plan; • Move from one Advantage Plan to another; • Move from one prescription drug plan (Part D) to another, or purchase one if you did not when first eligible. Experts say that even if you’ve been happy with your 2019 coverage, both Advantage and prescription drug plans are modified from year to year — and new plans become available, as well — which means it’s important to evaluate whether your current option is still the best available for you.

“Each insurance carrier revisits their [drug] formulary and they renegotiate provider contracts,” said Elizabeth Gavino, founder of Lewin & Gavino in New York and an independent broker and general agent for Medicare plans. “So you need to make sure your providers, prescriptions and your preferred pharmacy are still on the plan.” Additionally, changes can affect your premiums, copays, deductibles and covered services, along with the cost of your prescriptions. And, you might find coverage that meets your needs at a better cost. If, after evaluating your options, you determine that you want to stick with your current coverage, you don’t need to take any action. It’s worth noting that Medicare’s fall open enrollment is different from your initial enrollment period, which is a seven-month window that starts three months before your 65th birthday and ends three months after your birth month. Also during that initial sign-up time, you can sign up for an Advantage Plan, which includes Parts A and B and, typically, a Part D prescription plan. These plans also often include additional coverage such as dental, vision or wellness programs. Here are some key things to keep in mind this year.

What’s new

If you use the Plan Finder tool on Medicare.gov to compare your options each year, you’ll be navigating a new system. The updated version, which became available to users in late August, was met with criticism due to various changes — and glitches — that caused incomplete or incorrect results to be generated. While the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has deployed many fixes in the wake of the negative feedback, it’s uncertain whether more tweaks are in store or if users will continue running into issues. “The intentions were good, but the timing was terrible,” said Danielle Roberts, co-founder of insurance firm Boomer Benefits in Fort Worth, Texas. She added, though, that users can always call 1-800-MEDICARE if any information seems to be missing or anything is unclear. As of Tuesday, there were still differences between the new and old versions that were not viewed as improvements. For example, users were still finding incomplete results related to prescription drugs, including the details of a particular plan’s limits on the quantity of the medicine you need covered. Meanwhile, you also might notice some supplemental benefits available through Advantage Plans that you hadn’t seen in the past. While many plans already offer extras such as dental or vision coverage, new rules allow Advantage Plans to offer services that go beyond traditional medical care. For example, roughly 500 plans are expected to offer services such as adult day care or caregiver support systems next year, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Another 250 plans will offer things such as meal delivery, rides to the grocery store or even pest control. However, not all extra benefits are available to everyone who enrolls in the particular plan offering them. Some may only be extended to people with certain chronic illnesses or conditions — and even then, whether you qualify must be assessed by the plan once you’re enrolled. “You won’t know if you’re eligible for those supplemental benefits until you’re in the plan,” said David Lipschutz, associate director for the Center for Medicare Advocacy. “So don’t be lured in only by the bells and whistles.” More from Personal Finance:

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Earning income after 65? How to make it work for you If you pick an Advantage Plan during fall enrollment and realize afterward that it’s not a good fit, you can change your coverage between Jan. 1 and March 31 by switching to either another Advantage Plan or to original Medicare and a stand-alone prescription plan. Be aware that while you can change your mind about your coverage several times during the current open enrollment period, you can only make one change during the January-through-March window. The average premiums for Advantage Plans is forecast to be $23 next year, down from close to $27 in 2019. Yet this year, 56% of enrollees paid no premium, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Regardless of the amount, keep in mind that it’s in addition to your Part B premium. Although there’s been no official word yet on what that 2020 base amount will be, it’s projected to rise to $144.30 from $135.50 this year, according to the latest Medicare Trustees report. The deductible for Part A is forecast to increase to $1,420 from $1,364, and the deductible for Part B is projected to go to $197 from $185.

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Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-15  Authors: sarah obrien
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, available, advantage, services, prescription, whats, plans, enrollment, coverage, watch, heres, plan, open, underway, medicare, users


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Google’s aggressive ‘ambient computing’ strategy means it wants to be everywhere

“Ambient computing” is the latest buzzword Google executives touted at its annual hardware event Tuesday. The idea of “ambient computing” explains it better than ever before. It wants Google services to disappear into the background, becoming as reliable and essential as running water. Everywhere, all the timeThroughout Tuesday’s event, Osterloh described ambient computing as being everywhere, all the time. The Google assistant plays a “critical role” in this ambient computing strategy, Osterloh


“Ambient computing” is the latest buzzword Google executives touted at its annual hardware event Tuesday.
The idea of “ambient computing” explains it better than ever before.
It wants Google services to disappear into the background, becoming as reliable and essential as running water.
Everywhere, all the timeThroughout Tuesday’s event, Osterloh described ambient computing as being everywhere, all the time.
The Google assistant plays a “critical role” in this ambient computing strategy, Osterloh
Google’s aggressive ‘ambient computing’ strategy means it wants to be everywhere Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-15  Authors: jennifer elias
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, strategy, hardware, services, work, means, computing, osterloh, googles, company, google, vision, wants, ambient, aggressive, users


Google's aggressive 'ambient computing' strategy means it wants to be everywhere

“Ambient computing” is the latest buzzword Google executives touted at its annual hardware event Tuesday. Google’s hardware strategy has been somewhat of a puzzle. Why does a company that earns nearly all of its revenue from online advertising need the hassle of building and marketing low-margin hardware? The idea of “ambient computing” explains it better than ever before. In a nutshell, Google wants users to be able to access its services from wherever they are — at work, on the home, on the go — with a consistent set of methods and commands. It wants Google services to disappear into the background, becoming as reliable and essential as running water. “Our vision for ambient computing is to create a single, consistent experience at home, at work or on the go, whenever you need it,” said Rick Osterloh, Google’s head of hardware on Tuesday. To realize this vision, Google not only needs to get these services into the devices people use, but also needs to be able to control the experience of how they use them. It can’t rely on other hardware manufacturers to realize this vision. Hence, Google’s hardware business. While the company’s ambient computing vision is its clearest articulation of why it builds hardware, Google has historically lagged hardware giants like Apple and Samsung — it doesn’t even land in the top five global phone manufacturers, according to IDC. Even if Google can create a superior user experience for its services on its hardware, there’s no guarantee that’s what people want. Superior hardware with a variety of apps and services from different providers may be enough.

Everywhere, all the time

Throughout Tuesday’s event, Osterloh described ambient computing as being everywhere, all the time. The more places users can access Google services, the less they’ll have to worry about being buried and bogged down by their phones all day long. “Your devices and services work together,” Osterloh said. “And it’s fluid so it disappears into the background.” For instance, the company announced $179 “smart” circular ear buds called Pixel Buds, which include “adaptive sound” technology that is supposed to automatically adjust the volume to the user’s environment. It also announced a slew of miniature and lower-priced products to fills gaps where it isn’t already, including the Nest Mini, which starts at $49, and a new lightweight version of its laptop called the Pixelbook Go, which starts at $649. The tinier a device is, the easier it is to forget it’s there. “How insanely tiny can we make it” said Isabelle Olsen, design director for Google Home and wearables, when describing the Pixel Buds during a video that aired during Tuesday’s keynote. Having different categories of device also means more opportunities to sell new kinds of services. For instance, the company introduced a new subscription program called Nest Aware, which allows users to receive support across all their Nest smart home devices for a flat monthly rate starting at $6 per month. “When you get home, your locks, thermostats, they all know what to do,” Osterloh said at one point. The company also said it wants users to be able to imminently connect their smartphones with its gaming platform Stadia. The Google assistant plays a “critical role” in this ambient computing strategy, Osterloh said. Google played up its strengths in artificial intelligence by showing a smart voice recorder, facial recognition and gesture control technology that lets can wave their hands a few inches above the Pixel smartphone to control it. It was an impressive display of technology chops, and it all fit into the idea that computing should be everywhere, all the time.

Cracking adoption


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-10-15  Authors: jennifer elias
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, strategy, hardware, services, work, means, computing, osterloh, googles, company, google, vision, wants, ambient, aggressive, users


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