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Existing-home sales fall for the second straight month in April

Existing-home sales fall for the second straight month in April

The numbers: Existing-home sales ran at a seasonally adjusted annual 5.19 million rate in April, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday. That was 0.4% lower than March and 4.4% lower than a year ago. What happened: Sales of previously-owned homes have been choppy recently; following a big surge in February, they retreated in March. For April, the MarketWatch consensus was for a 5.35 million selling pace, not a decline. The median selling price in April was $267,300, a 3.6% annual increase. At the current pace of sales, it would take 4.2 months to exhaust available supply, well below the 6-month threshold that’s traditionally been considered a marker of a balanced market. Properties stayed on the market for an average of 24 days in April.
Wyze begins preorders for its $8 smart lightbulb

Wyze begins preorders for its $8 smart lightbulb

Wyze is now taking preorders for its new, ultra-affordable smart lightbulb. Orders are open through the Wyze app, with deliveries expected in late June. At launch, Wyze Bulb will be sold in packs of four and will cost $30. After launch, Wyze will sell Bulbs individually for $8 each, in addition to the 4-pack. Each bulb is 800 lumens and integrates with the rest of Wyze's product offerings along with Amazon's Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT. Other Bulb features include a vacation mode that will randomly turn lights on and off, scheduling, brightness and temperature adjustment, and integration with Wyze cameras.
Eddy Cue says Apple has ‘hundreds’ of people working to make Apple News+ better

Eddy Cue says Apple has ‘hundreds’ of people working to make Apple News+ better

Apple today released a press statement featuring Apple News+ (Apple News Plus) following its initial debut in March with iOS 12.2. Whilst the company did not disclose any figures about number of users who have signed up to $9.99/month News+ subscription, Apple included endorsements from participating publishers and highlighted a UI change it made in iOS 12.3 to make following articles easier. In the statement, Apple SVP Eddy Cue says Apple has hundreds of employees from editorial to engineering and design working on Apple News+, perhaps an indirect response to some of the early community feedback that criticized the News+ experience as confusing.
kea invests in Livspace, a one-stop platform for interior design based in India

kea invests in Livspace, a one-stop platform for interior design based in India

Fresh from raising $70 million last year via big names including Goldman Sachs and TPG Growth, Livspace, an India-based startup that offers a one-stop-shop for interior design, has lured yet another marquee investor: Ikea. The startup said today it has taken an undisclosed investment from Ingka Investments, the VC arm of Ikea parent Ingka Group, which operates 90 percent of Ikea’s retail footprint. Livspace CEO and co-founder Anuj Srivastava declined to provide a figure for the deal, but he told TechCrunch that the stake involved is a minor one while there is no plan to bolt a larger round on to this investment. Deal Street Asia first reported news of the deal.
Bitcoin's wild ride

Bitcoin's wild ride

Ten years ago, a mysterious computer programmer invented a new type of money that wasn't backed by any government or kept in any bank. There were no coins or bills, just long strings of letters and numbers stored inside a network of computers that anybody could be a part of by downloading some free software over the Internet. Today that computerized currency, bitcoin, is well-known, though little understood, and bitcoin's popularity has inspired the creation of thousands of other types of digital money, known as "cryptocurrency." Over the last decade, you could have made a five million percent profit by investing in cryptocurrency. Or you could have lost everything. It has been a wild ride, and few people have experienced the highs and lows more than a 29-year-old named Charlie Shrem.
Google's Huawei Android restrictions: what does it mean for you? [Updated]

Google's Huawei Android restrictions: what does it mean for you? [Updated]

The news that Google has blocked Huawei’s future access to Android updates – for both apps and timely security updates – not only casts doubt over the entire future of the Chinese smartphone manufacturer’s business, it also could have wide-ranging implications for the future of the global smartphone market. After US President Donald Trump placed Huawei on the ‘entity list’, limiting the business US brands could do with Huawei, Google has been forced to restrict the company's access to the Google Play Store, which means that in the future users won’t be able to gain access to popular titles, nor to speedy security updates to the Android OS.
Spotify begins testing its first hardware: a car smart assistant

Spotify begins testing its first hardware: a car smart assistant

Spotify is about to begin publicly testing its first hardware: a voice-controlled smart assistant for cars, meant to help Spotify learn how people consume audio while they’re driving. As part of the test, some Premium users will receive the device for free. The device, called Car Thing, plugs into a vehicle’s 12-volt outlet (aka a cigarette lighter) for power and connects to both a person’s car and phone over Bluetooth. The device can be activated by saying, “Hey, Spotify,” followed by a request for whatever the person wants to hear. It’ll be linked to a user’s Spotify account, so they can access their playlists.
Moulton wants medical marijuana for veterans — plus much bolder drug reforms

Moulton wants medical marijuana for veterans — plus much bolder drug reforms

Representative Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, a former Marine Corps officer, re-filed a package of bills in Congress Monday that would push the Department of Veterans Affairs to embrace medical marijuana. But Moulton, a Democrat who is running for president, also said in an interview that he supports much more significant changes to federal drug policy — declaring that anyone in the United States jailed solely for marijuana possession should be freed with a clear record, that the country should consider decriminalizing the use of hard drugs while cracking down on producers, and that so-called safe consumption sites should be legal.
There’s A Growing “Boycott Apple” Movement In China Because Of The US Trade War

There’s A Growing “Boycott Apple” Movement In China Because Of The US Trade War

HONG KONG — People in China are calling for a boycott of Apple products after tensions between China and the US reached new heights following fresh restrictions targeting Chinese telecom giant Huawei. Declaring a national emergency, President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday that banned US telecom companies from installing foreign equipment that poses a national security threat. A separate order bans Huawei from buying US technology without government approval. On Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, users reacted to US pressure on Huawei by rejecting Apple products. “The functions in Huawei are comparable to Apple iPhones or even better. We have such a good smartphone alternative, why are we still using Apple?” commented one user.
Amazon Unveils Rendering, New Details For First Phase Of HQ2 Project

Amazon Unveils Rendering, New Details For First Phase Of HQ2 Project

The first phase of new development at Amazon HQ2 is beginning to take shape.  Amazon, in a blog post Thursday, released a rendering and description of the first two new office towers it plans to build at its National Landing campus.  The tech giant said it filed development plans for the first phase this week. The plans call for two towers reaching 22 stories with 2.1M SF of office space and 50K SF of new retail space. ZGF Architects designed the Phase 1 buildings, which are planned to achieve LEED Gold certification. 


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