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Existing-home sales rebound in May, as housing market green shoots appear

Existing-home sales rebound in May, as housing market green shoots appear

The numbers: Existing-home sales were at a 5.34 million seasonally adjusted annual pace in May, the National Association of Realtors said Friday. Sales of previously-owned homes were 2.5% higher than in April, but 1.1% lower than the selling pace a year ago. The MarketWatch consensus forecast was for a 5.28 million annual rate. What happened: The median selling price in May was $277,700, a 4.8% annual increase and the 87th straight month of annual price increases. The Northeast, where sales have been socked by high prices and the loss of the ability to deduct property taxes from federal returns, saw a 4.7% jump in sales in May. In the Midwest, sales were up 3.4%. In both the South and the West, sales ticked up 1.8%.
Foxconn’s Billionaire Founder Urges Apple to Invest in Taiwan

Foxconn’s Billionaire Founder Urges Apple to Invest in Taiwan

The billionaire founder of Apple Inc.’s largest supplier asked the U.S. company to move from China to neighboring Taiwan. "Speaking from the perspective of the Republic of China, I will plead to Apple to come to Taiwan," said Terry Gou, who remains the largest shareholder in Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., answering a question about whether Apple will shift production away from China. He was referring to Taiwan by its formal moniker. “I believe it is possible," he said without elaborating. Louis Woo, a special assistant to Gou, later said that the executive and Taiwan presidential hopeful was urging Apple to "invest" in Taiwan, not to move plants from China.
Virtual Vikings: how volumetric capture is making VR feel real

Virtual Vikings: how volumetric capture is making VR feel real

There's never been a better time to be a VR enthusiast. With the increased presence of standalone, wireless headsets, plus the advanced motion tracking and screen resolutions to make VR experiences vaguely in sync with our body’s own senses, we’re now reaching a point where VR simulations are starting to feel, if not real, certainly more realistic than they used to be. We’re still far from the Matrix, however. Developers are still trying to get around basic physical issues like motion sickness and eye strain, while the kinds of human character models generated for VR game engines – or any game engine, for that matter – are anything but lifelike.
US House OKs Plan to Block Federal Cannabis Interference

US House OKs Plan to Block Federal Cannabis Interference

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives has voted to block the Justice Department from interfering with states that have legalized marijuana for adult use. The bipartisan 267-165 vote represents a breakthrough for advocates of legalizing cannabis, who have unsuccessfully pressed the idea in the past under GOP control of the House. Although 11 states have legalized marijuana for personal use, possessing and selling the drug remains a federal offense. Lawmakers have already enacted protections for the 47 states where medical marijuana is legal in some form or another.
Bitmain Revives IPO Plan as Bitcoin Hits One-Year High

Bitmain Revives IPO Plan as Bitcoin Hits One-Year High

Bitmain Technologies Ltd., the world’s biggest producer of cryptocurrency mining chips, is reviving plans for an initial public offering as Bitcoin climbs to a one-year high, people with knowledge of the matter said. The company is working with advisers on preparations for a U.S. share sale that could take place as soon as the second half of this year, the people said. Bitmain aims to file listing documents with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as soon as next month, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.
'Obnoxious' drone noise to get national review as hobby pilots, Google face crackdown

'Obnoxious' drone noise to get national review as hobby pilots, Google face crackdown

Growing anger about noisy drones has prompted a national review into remote flying by both commercial and recreational pilots.A statement from Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack confirmed that, while the Government had been considering noise issues since March, it now intends to complete a formal review by the end of the year. The review "will consider the community noise impact of drone operations, the size, frequency and nature of drone operations (recreational and commercial), and existing safety regulations administered by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority", it stated.
Apple weighs 15%-30% capacity shift out of China amid trade war

Apple weighs 15%-30% capacity shift out of China amid trade war

TAIPEI -- Apple has asked its major suppliers to evaluate the cost implications of shifting 15% to 30% of their production capacity from China to Southeast Asia as it prepares for a fundamental restructuring of its supply chain, the Nikkei Asian Review has learned. The California-based tech giant's request was triggered by the protracted trade tensions between Washington and Beijing, but multiple sources say that even if the spat is resolved there will be no turning back. Apple has decided the risks of relying so heavily on manufacturing in China, as it has done for decades, are too great and even rising, several people told Nikkei.
Bitcoin price hits 1-year high on boost from Facebook's Libra plan

Bitcoin price hits 1-year high on boost from Facebook's Libra plan

The digital currency project Facebook detailed on Tuesday will take up to a year to become publicly available and two to five years to be judged a success or failure. But even before it became official, the project, known as Libra, has been able to do what seemed impossible: Drag the price of bitcoin out of the doldrums and to a one-year high. Since March, the value of bitcoin, the best-known virtual currency, has nearly tripled. It hit a high of $9,469 in the evening of June 17 -- hours before Facebook revealed a white paper detailing Libra, its cryptocurrency project.
Apple's China problem isn't going away, JPMorgan and Credit Suisse warn in a pair of cautious reports (AAPL)

Apple's China problem isn't going away, JPMorgan and Credit Suisse warn in a pair of cautious reports (AAPL)

Apple's challenges in China have eaten into the technology giant's business for months — and they're not going away, a pair of prominent Wall Street firms said on Monday. Analysts at JPMorgan and Credit Suisse addressed China's posture in the critical market amid declining iPhone sales and trade tensions with the US, updating their clients on this quarter's trends. JPMorgan's analysts, for their part, slightly lowered their price target and iPhone shipments outlook, while Credit Suisse said trade uncertainty and "deeper structural issues" would render Apple's stock price rangebound.
Unity makes it easier to insert augmented reality into native mobile apps

Unity makes it easier to insert augmented reality into native mobile apps

Unity Technologies has launched an update that makes it easier to insert augmented reality features into native mobile apps and games. The update for Unity 2019.3 comes after Unity announced its AR Foundation tool that enables game developers to quickly create AR software that can run on both Android and iOS devices. Unity 2019.3 has added support for using Unity as a library controlled by native Android/Java and iOS/Objective C apps so developers can easily insert AR and other Unity features. “We know there are times when developers using native platform technologies (like Android/Java and iOS/Objective C) want to include features powered by Unity in their apps and games,”
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