Brewing Company Eyes Bottle From 1886 Wreck – Newser


(Newser)

Ahoy, beer lovers: A bottle from a 133-year-old shipwreck may yield yeast for a new brew in upstate New York, the AP reports. Biotechnology students at the State University of New York at Cobleskill uncorked a bottle from the shipwrecked SS Oregon on Thursday. Serious Brewing Company of Howes Cave plans to develop a new brew if the students successfully extract yeast. Bill Felter, of Serious Brewing, acquired the beer from a customer who owns an assortment of artifacts recovered from the Oregon.

The ship was en route from Liverpool, England, to New York City with 852 people aboard on March 14, 1886, when it collided with a schooner near Fire Island, New York, and sank. All but one person survived. Last year, an Australian brewer produced beer from yeast recovered from a 220-year-old shipwreck. (Read about the 10 most popular beers in America.)

 

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Uber sues NYC to contest cap on drivers – TechCrunch

Uber filed a lawsuit against New York City, The Verge reported. The company wants to overturn New York City’s rule that caps the number of new ride-hailing drivers. Last summer, the city approved legislation that halts the issuing of new licenses to drivers for 12 months.

It has been a multi-year fight between Uber and New York City. NYC mayor Bill de Blasio has been in favor of new legislation to regulate ride-hailing companies for years. And the NYC Council finally voted in favor of such a new rule back in August 2018.

Uber has had a strong stance against the new regulatory framework. Before the vote, the company even called loyal customers to ask them to call local council members and support Uber.

There are a few reasons why policymakers have been in favor of the halt. First, taxi medallion holders have been suffering from the sudden market changes caused by Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing companies. The value of their licenses have dropped significanyly, which created some financial issues for drivers who got a credit to acquire those licenses.

Second, ride-hailing services have fostered congestion across the city. It seems a bit counterintuitive as some Uber users have given up on their personal cars to switch to Uber. But Uber also replaces a lot of other transportation methods, such as subways, buses, bikes, etc.

In addition to that usage pattern switch, many drivers are still driving around New York City, waiting for the next ride. Those idle cars clog the streets.

Third, there are also economical reasons for this change. Uber is a marketplace that matches drivers with riders. The company is leveraging the fact that rules aren’t as strict for ride-hailing drivers as for taxi drivers. This way, Uber can accept a ton of drivers even though demand doesn’t necessarily match. Uber can then leverage this market imbalance to drive down wages.

As part of the vote, New York City has also agreed on a minimum wage for ride-hailing drivers. Eventually, it could lead to an increase in price for customers. But so many customers have turned their back on public transportation that it is now generating too many issues when it comes to infrastructure investments and traffic congesting.

It’s a chicken-and-egg situation. You can’t expect a better subway system if nobody is interested in taking the subway anymore. And you can’t expect customers to rely on the subway if there hasn’t been enough investment to make it reliable.

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Tax Refund Fiasco Is Political Payback For Republicans – HuffPost

Republicans boasted all last year that their new tax law boosted paychecks and showered bonuses on several million workers.

But now that tax season is upon us, several million Americans are getting a nasty surprise: a bill from the Internal Revenue Service that they never expected.

Beth Callori of Long Island, New York, said she was thrilled to receive about $90 more in each paycheck last year. Thanks to the new lower federal income tax rates, Callori’s employer, a financial services firm, was withholding less from her paycheck for federal tax purposes.

“I thought, ‘Wow, Trump is great, I love him,’” Callori said.

But last week Callori heard from her tax preparer that she owes the federal government more than $5,000 ― almost five times as much as she had to pay in previous years.

“I almost fell out of my chair. I could not believe it,” she said. “I voted for Trump. I thought he was going to be good for this country, but when I got that phone call, that’s it, I’m done.”

Callori’s tax bill went up for two reasons. One is that the law directly disadvantaged her by limiting deductions for state and local taxes, which increased the amount of Callori’s income subject to tax and added an extra grand to her bill.

The bigger reason is that her employer withheld too little from her paycheck. The extra $90 she received should have been added to the amount that gets automatically socked away to cover the federal income tax. Like most people, however, Callori did not fill out a worksheet and submit a new Form W-4 to her employer at the beginning of last year.

After all, at that time Republicans kept bragging about the bigger paychecks they had given the American people.

“I thought because I was getting that, I’m entitled to it,” Callori said.

Bigger Paychecks, Lower Refunds

The vast majority of Americans got lower taxes from the new law, while only 5 percent or so should have seen a tax increase. Most people should have seen the changes in their paychecks last February.

But the way the Trump administration implemented the law has caused a separate problem ― one that the administration knew would result in something like 5 million fewer households receiving tax refunds this year. It’s still early in tax filing season, which opened at the end of January, but the average refund is down 8.7 percent so far.

The Treasury Department suggested tax refunds are bad anyway because they result from people overpaying the government.

“Smaller refunds mean that people are withholding appropriately based on their tax liability, which is positive news for taxpayers,” a spokesperson said in an email.

The problem is, it’s not just smaller refunds ― it’s that paycheck withholding for this tax season is less accurate in general.

Treasury has said it expected the percentage of people withholding too much tax in their paychecks to decline from 76 to 73 percent, but the percentage withholding accurately is not increasing at all. Instead, Treasury expected the rate of under-withholding to go from 18 to 21 percent. Those people all owe the IRS.

The households most at risk are ones with higher incomes, two earners and slightly more complicated taxes ― especially households that used to itemize their deductions. Instead of taking the standard deduction, which reduces taxable income by a set value, itemizers would add up what they spent on state and local taxes, mortgage interest and charitable giving, and deduct that sum instead. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act greatly reduced the advantage of itemizing and limited the deduction for state and local tax.

Politics Over Planning

But the Trump administration decided not to make major changes to the withholding tables that employers are required to use to make sure everybody is paying the right amount of tax. The value of “allowances” that workers can choose on Form W-4 to adjust their withholding has been pegged for years to something called the personal exemption ― which the new tax law eliminated. So they set the value of allowances to last year’s personal exemption and adjusted for inflation. 

Coming up with new forms would have taken at least half a year, and would have been a chore for everyone. 

“There’s this tension … You’d like to get all the information needed to calculate withholding as accurately as possible, but that gets very complicated for taxpayers,” said Joe Rosenberg, a researcher at the Tax Policy Center.

The administration could have let people withhold too much rather than surprise them with bills at tax time, Democrats have said.

“It looks like the Trump Treasury Department spent 2018, an election year, goosing people’s paychecks by under-withholding, and it should have been obvious that the bill would come due eventually,” Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said in a statement Friday.

The IRS did try to warn people to check their withholding. The agency told the Government Accountability Office that it put out press releases and sent emails to listservs with hundreds of thousands of subscribers. It promoted a “paycheck checkup” campaign on Twitter and Facebook, and officials talked to the media.

The “make sure you’re not underwithheld” messaging may have been drowned out by congressional Republicans bragging that their law had turbocharged the economy and directly benefited millions of workers. They kept a running tally of the hundreds of firms that had announced bonuses for their workers, trumpeting each announcement in a series of press releases. Fox News worked overtime to remind people that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi previously called the bonuses crumbs.

Another problem, which is not Republicans’ fault, is that even though everyone pays taxes, not everyone understands them very well. Less than half of Americans said they knew they could update their W-4 forms at any time and only 19 percent had actually done so, according to a November survey by the tax prep company H&R Block. Twice as many survey respondents said they updated their W-2, which is actually a document prepared by employers, not workers.

Also, some filers are surprised by tax bills simply because they didn’t realize some of the money they earned needed to be taxed. “They’ll have some side job where there’s no withholding and that’s creating this new tax liability,” H&R Block’s Nathan Rigney said, pointing to the rise of non-employee gigs like Uber and Taskrabbit.

Crunching Numbers

By capping deductions for state and local taxes, Republicans knew the tax hikes in their law would be concentrated on states with high taxes ― which tend to be led by Democrats, who use the taxes to provide more social services.

But it’s not just wealthy New Yorkers who’ve wound up paying more.

Kurt Kromm is an electrician in Kenosha, Wisconsin ― an area that used to be represented by former House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). Kromm knew he and his wife would pay higher taxes because of the limit on deductions for state and local taxes, but he didn’t think they would owe more than $4,000 this spring.

Kromm had already indicated on the Form W-4 documents he’d previously submitted to his employer that he was married and wanted zero allowances, which means he was withholding as much as he could without specifying an additional dollar amount.  

“I figured married and zero would probably be appropriate,” Kromm said. “They spent no time trying to really put out a decent withholding table.”

Kromm’s case shows the two-earner household pitfall. After he realized how much he owes, he went to the withholding calculator on IRS.gov and realized he could have either told his employer to take an additional $80 per week or just put “single” on his W-4, since single people face higher rates and therefore higher withholding. If he had done so last year, he could have had less money in each paycheck but saved himself the aggravation of making a large payment.

But not even the administration expected people to go to such lengths ― in its simulations of how people would be affected, the IRS assumed nobody would adjust their W-4s.

“It’s unreasonable to expect working people with busy lives to start the year out by crunching the numbers on their tax withholding with the rigor of a workaholic [certified public accountant],” Wyden said.

Beth Callori, for her part, said she had also previously chosen zero allowances ― plus she had an extra $130 withheld from each paycheck. It wasn’t enough.

She said she used to love Donald Trump. Not anymore.  

“I really liked things he was doing, until this, and now I hate him,” she said.

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Dow Gains 444 Points to end Day and Week Higher Ahead of Trade Talks Next Week – TheStreet

Here Are 3 Hot Things to Know About Stocks Right Now

  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose sharply Friday after the blue-chip index declined in the previous session, snapping a four-day winning streak. 
  • PepsiCo Inc.’s  (PEP)  fourth-quarter earnings largely were in line with analysts’ forecasts, but the soda and snacks maker said 2019 earnings would fall as the company boosts investments in some of its key consumer products. The stock rose 2.95%.
  • Nvidia Corp. (NVDA)  rose 1.82% after the chip company posted stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings and said sales for its current financial year would top forecasts as key markets in China recover from their current slump.

Wall Street Overview

Stocks closed higher Friday, Feb. 15, on reports that officials from both the U.S. and China will continue trade talks next week in Washington, raising hopes of a near-term deal between the world’s two biggest economies.

China’s state television said President Xi Jinping declared the week-long talks, which included two days of high-level negotiations between U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Vice Premier Liu He, had made “important step-by-step progress.”

“Next week, both sides will meet again in Washington. I hope you will continue efforts to advance reaching a mutually beneficial, win-win agreement,” Xi was reported to have said.

The Wall Street Journal reported the U.S. and China could sign a memorandum of understanding that could serve as the framework for a deal that Donald Trump and Xi could later finalize at a summit.

Meanwhile, Trump on Friday declared a national emergency to free up funds to construct a border wall with Mexico. He also is expected to sign funding legislation Friday that would avoid another government shutdown.

“President Trump’s decision to declare a state of emergency in order to fund a border wall will set in motion a series of legal battles that will takes months to determine, if not longer,” said Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer for Independent Advisor Alliance.

“Markets are likely to look past this fight as just another example of partisan dysfunction in Washington, which should have little short-term market impact,” said Zaccarelli. “However, it continues to shine a light on the larger problem of a lack of unity in the country and that should give investors pause.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 444 points, or 1.74%, to 25,883, the S&P 500 gained 1.09%, and the Nasdaq was up 0.6%.

PepsiCo Inc. (PEP) posted fourth-quarter earnings that were largely in line with analysts’ forecasts, but said 2019 earnings would fall as the company boosts investments in some of its key consumer products. The stock rose 2.95%.

Pepsi said core earnings for the three months ended in December were $1.49 a share, matching the Wall Street forecast. Revenue also was in line and was essentially flat from the prior-year period at $19.524 billion.

Looking into 2019, Pepsi said core earnings would decline by 1%, thanks in part to “incremental investments that are intended to further strengthen the business,” but noted the company should return to a “high-single-digit core constant currency EPS growth” rate the following year.

Deere & Co. (DE) reported first-quarter earnings of $1.54 a share, below estimates of $1.76. Revenue was $6.94 billion, higher than forecasts of $6.82 billion.

The company noted, however, that easing cost pressures would allow it to be “cautiously optimistic” on profits for the 2019 year. Shares fell 2.11%.

Newell Brands Inc. (NWL)  plunged 20.9% Friday after announcing fourth-quarter sales that missed estimates and after it issued a downbeat outlook for the year.  Shares ended at $17.16, their lowest close in three months. It was the stock’s biggest one-day percentage decline since Nov. 2, 2017.

Nvidia Corp. (NVDA) rose 1.82% Friday after the chip company posted stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings and said sales for its current financial year would top Wall Street forecasts as key markets in China recover from their current slump.

Adjusted earnings in the fourth quarter were 80 cents a share, beating estimates of 62 cents, while revenue of $2.21 billion missed forecasts of $2.24 billion. The company had guided revenue expectations down significantly in late January to $2.2 billion from $2.7 billion.

Canopy Growth Corp. (CGC) posted better-than-expected fiscal third-quarter revenue and said its chief financial officer plans to depart the company later this year.

The cannabis company posted a loss of 38 Canadian cents a share on revenue after excise taxes of C$83.1 million. In the same quarter a year earlier, Canopy Growth posted earnings of 1 Canadian cent a share on restated revenue of C$22 million.

The stock was up 3.06% on Friday.

Mattel Inc. (MAT) saw its worst one-day percentage decline in nearly 20 years on a disappointing outlook for 2019. Shares fell nearly 18% after a presentation to analysts Friday projected flat gross sales and lower-than-expected adjusted EBITDA for the year.

Oracle Corp. (ORCL)  was up slightly Friday after Securities and Exchange Commission filings showed that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.A) dumped its entire stake in the software company only months after revealing its $2 billion investment.

Berkshire Hathaway told the SEC in a filing in November that it had owned 41.4 million shares in Oracle at the end of the end of the third quarter after it had exited a holding in International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) earlier in the year.

Watch Jim Cramer’s Daily NYSE Show and Replays Below

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The 30+ Best Presidents Day Deals to Shop This Weekend – Gear Patrol

At some point in the early 1960s, we all decided to stop calling the third Monday in February Washington’s Birthday and just generalized out the holiday to ‘Presidents’ Day’. Not long after that, the federal holiday also became its own kind of retail holiday with auto dealers, furniture stores and all other kinds of stores offering deals over the long weekend.

In fact, the sheer volume of the deals offered over this long weekend makes it difficult to navigate. That’s why we put our nose to the grindstone before we all took off for the weekend to round up some of the deals we’ll be keeping our eyes on. Whether you are looking for some more equipment for your home gym or just a good reason to replace that ratty old couch – these are all worth looking through.

President’s Day Furniture Deals

Is there anything more American than a furniture deal on Presidents Day? Well, probably. But maybe there isn’t much of anything that’s more predictable. This year there are deals for every taste and budget.

An Unfathomable Amount of Cheap Furniture Is on Sale This Weekend

Though I can’t prove this, it feels like the entirety of Wayfair’s furniture collection is at least 60 percent off.

DWR Dining and Knoll Sale

Save 15% and get free shipping on this collection of iconic mid-century furniture.

Target Hits the Mark with This Great Furniture Sale

Target furniture isn’t the last furniture you’ll ever buy, but it sure as hell looks better than most cheap options. Just use the code: HOME.

20% Off Mattresses at IKEA

If you’ve been mulling over a switch to a new mattress, now is not a bad time to do it. IKEA is offering 20% off their already affordable beds this weekend.

Article Offers Great Deals Today Through Feb 25th

Whether you are looking for a dining table, some great chairs, or something as simple as attractive lighting — these deals from Article will satisfy.

Take 20% off Almost Everything at West Elm

When you use the code WINTER at checkout get 20% off almost everything in stock at West Elm.

Starting at $29, Two Great Coffee Makers Are on Sale Today

Whether you’re trying to get the most out of a new bag of specialty-grade single-origin beans or you just want a fast pot of coffee, these two Amazon sales have you covered.

Save Big on Everything from Google’s Pixel to Its Smart Speakers

This weekend Google is taking between $30 and $100 off some of their most popular products.

Boll & Branch Offer 20% off Sitewide

Purveryors of some of the finest bed linens are temporarily shaving down the pricetag on their most popular items.

President’s Day Style Deals

President’s day deals line up pretty well with when designers and retailers are trying to offload the last of their winter styles. For those who are worried less about wearing the newest thing and more concerned with getting the best garments for the best prices – this is a great time to start looking.

Take 30% Off Todd Snyder With Special Code

One of our favorite men’s clothing designers is offering 30% off selected items with the use of the code NEW30.

Ralph Lauren Offers a Staggering 50% off on Select Styles

Now through February 19th Ralph Lauren’s End-Of-Season sale is offering up to 50% off.

Save up to 40% on Lightweight Jackets for Spring

Choose from brands like Barbour, Golden Bear, Canali and more.

Everlane Lets You Choose What You Pay

Champions of transparent sourcing and pricing Everlane are offering buyers the ability to choose what they pay for a select number of products.

Bonobos Final Sale

Take up to 75% off on Bonobos final sale now through the end of the weekend.

These Timeless Clarks Desert Boots Are Now Only $70

Now at Nordstrom Rack, you can save 30 percent on a pair of timeless desert boots from Clarks. The Bushacre chukka costs just $70 and features a leather upper, cushioned footbed and rubber sole

Up to Half-Off on Select Saturdays NYC Styles

The sale section over at Saturdays NYC is looking pretty good right about now. Get up to 50% off on a wide variety of styles.

Take an Extra 40% Off at J. Crew All Weekend Long

J. Crew has its share of big sales throughout the year, but that’s no reason to sleep on this big President’s Day sale event.

Save up to 60% on Wardrobe Staples from Outerknown Today

Now at Outerknown, you can save up to 60 percent on previous seasons’ styles. The Warehouse Sale features deals on tees, pants, sweaters and more.

Don’t Miss this Huge Sale on Allen Edmonds Shoes, Boots and More

Now at Allen Edmonds, you can save an additional 30 percent on clearance items. Choose from a range of tasteful shoes, boots, belts, and apparel – there’s something for everyone.

President’s Day Outdoor Gear Deals

There is always a bit of an odd contradiction when it comes to long weekends and outdoor gear deals. Ideally, you’d be out and about enjoying the extra day instead of inside trolling around for deals. But hey, sometimes you gotta do a little extra work in order get a great deal.

Thinking of Rock Climbing? These Entry-Level Shoes Are on Sale

Climbing gyms are popping up in every city, and Black Diamond’s excellent entry-level climbing shoes are on sale now.

Topo Designs’s Original Hiking Bag Is Now $70 Cheaper

A good everyday backpack will find use in your commute around town and on the trail too. Topo Designs’ Klettersack, which is one of the brand’s original bags, does just that.

One of Patagonia’s Best Jackets Is on Sale Now

Two years running, Patagonia’s Micro Puff is the best synthetic insulation jacket available. Right now it’s 30 percent off.

Awesome Slippers You Can Wear Outdoors Are on Sale

With hardy felted wool uppers and rubber sole bottoms, Glerups slippers aren’t just great for wearing indoors.

Your HIIT Workout Needs a Slam Ball. This One is 15% Off

A weighted slam ball ups your workout intensity and helps build muscle. This TRX-approved one is ideal and on sale.

Save 30% on a Handful of Great Patagonia Backpacks

Now at Nordstrom, you can save 30 percent on a handful of great Patagonia backpacks. Ranging in size from 25L to 32L, they start at just $62.

Camping Food You’ll Want to Eat at Home Is on Sale

With meals like organic black bean soup and wild caught lemon pepper salmon, Patagonia Provisions is redefining camp food. Just use code: EATWELL.

Columbia Winter Sale Features Half-Off Breathable Waterproof Shells

Looking to get some great outdoor gear for not a whole lot? Columbia’s winter sale has plenty of great pieces of gear to choose from.

Land’s END Offers Up 30% Off Everything

With the use of the code FAMILY you can save on full-priced styles.

40% Off Everything at Gap

With the code GREAT you can get 40% off everything at Gap and an extra 10% with code BOOST.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

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Researchers, scared by their own work, hold back “deepfakes for text” AI – Ars Technica

This is fine.

OpenAI, a non-profit research company investigating “the path to safe artificial intelligence,” has developed a machine learning system called Generative Pre-trained Transformer-2 (GPT-2 ), capable of generating text based on brief writing prompts. The result comes so close to mimicking human writing that it could potentially be used for “deepfake” content. Built based on 40 gigabytes of text retrieved from sources on the Internet (including “all outbound links from Reddit, a social media platform, which received at least 3 karma”), GPT-2 generates plausible “news” stories and other text that match the style and content of a brief text prompt.

The performance of the system was so disconcerting, now the researchers are only releasing a reduced version of GPT-2 based on a much smaller text corpus. In a blog post on the project and this decision, researchers Alec Radford, Jeffrey Wu, Rewon Child, David Luan, Dario Amodei, and Ilya Sutskever wrote:

Due to concerns about large language models being used to generate deceptive, biased, or abusive language at scale, we are only releasing a much smaller version of GPT-2 along with sampling code. We are not releasing the dataset, training code, or GPT-2 model weights. Nearly a year ago we wrote in the OpenAI Charter: “we expect that safety and security concerns will reduce our traditional publishing in the future, while increasing the importance of sharing safety, policy, and standards research,” and we see this current work as potentially representing the early beginnings of such concerns, which we expect may grow over time. This decision, as well as our discussion of it, is an experiment: while we are not sure that it is the right decision today, we believe that the AI community will eventually need to tackle the issue of publication norms in a thoughtful way in certain research areas.

OpenAI is funded by contributions from a group of technology executives and investors connected to what some have referred to as the PayPal “mafia”—Elon Musk, Peter Thiel, Jessica Livingston, and Sam Altman of YCombinator, former PayPal COO and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, and former Stripe Chief Technology Officer Greg Brockman. Brockman now serves as OpenAI’s CTO. Musk has repeatedly warned of the potential existential dangers posed by AI, and OpenAI is focused on trying to shape the future of artificial intelligence technology—ideally moving it away from potentially harmful applications.

Given present-day concerns about how fake content has been used to both generate money for “fake news” publishers and potentially spread misinformation and undermine public debate, GPT-2’s output certainly qualifies as concerning. Unlike other text generation “bot” models, such as those based on Markov chain algorithms, the GPT-2 “bot” did not lose track of what it was writing about as it generated output, keeping everything in context.

For example: given a two-sentence entry, GPT-2 generated a fake science story on the discovery of unicorns in the Andes, a story about the economic impact of Brexit, a report about a theft of nuclear materials near Cincinnati, a story about Miley Cyrus being caught shoplifting, and a student’s report on the causes of the US Civil War.

Each matched the style of the genre from the writing prompt, including manufacturing quotes from sources. In other samples, GPT-2 generated a rant about why recycling is bad, a speech written by John F. Kennedy’s brain transplanted into a robot (complete with footnotes about the feat itself), and a rewrite of a scene from The Lord of the Rings.

While the model required multiple tries to get a good sample, GPT-2 generated “good” results based on “how familiar the model is with the context,” the researchers wrote. “When prompted with topics that are highly represented in the data (Brexit, Miley Cyrus, Lord of the Rings, and so on), it seems to be capable of generating reasonable samples about 50 percent of the time. The opposite is also true: on highly technical or esoteric types of content, the model can perform poorly.”

There were some weak spots encountered in GPT-2’s word modeling—for example, the researchers noted it sometimes “writes about fires happening under water.” But the model could be fine-tuned to specific tasks and perform much better. “We can fine-tune GPT-2 on the Amazon Reviews dataset and use this to let us write reviews conditioned on things like star rating and category,” the authors explained.

That kind of performance would raise all sorts of concerns about how things like fake reviews—and pretty much any other sort of commenting—could be “deepfaked” for economic or political reasons. And that’s precisely why OpenAI’s researchers are holding off on publishing a more complete version of their model for now.

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Mattel has worst day in nearly 20 years after undercutting analysts’ 2019 estimates – CNBC

Toymaker Mattel had its worst trading day in nearly 20 years on Friday after the company posted weaker-than-expected full-year 2019 guidance during an analyst meeting in New York. Shares of the company finished the day down more than 18 percent.

laying off 2,200 workers and shuttering its New York office.

Kreiz has also hoped to revive sales by creating a film department to bring its famous toy properties to the big screen. In January, the company announced it had tapped Margot Robbie (“Suicide Squad,” “I, Tonya”) to play Barbie and revealed it would produce a live-action Hot Wheels film. On Friday, the company announced that it would also be producing an American Girl movie.

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Despite record profits, Amazon didn’t pay any federal income tax in 2017 or 2018. Here’s why – CNN

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So what’s next for the visionary and CEO?”},{“title”:”Amazon is using AI in almost everything it does”,”duration”:”04:27″,”sourceName”:”CNN Business”,”sourceLink”:””,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/business/2018/10/03/amazon-ai-behind-the-scenes-orig-mss.cnn-business/index.xml”,”videoId”:”business/2018/10/03/amazon-ai-behind-the-scenes-orig-mss.cnn-business”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181003173251-amazon-go-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/business/2018/10/03/amazon-ai-behind-the-scenes-orig-mss.cnn-business/video/playlists/business-amazon/”,”description”:”Rachel Crane goes inside Amazon HQ to see how Amazon uses AI to improve customer experiences, from cashier-less stores to Alexa’s new tricks.”,”descriptionText”:”Rachel Crane goes inside Amazon HQ to see how Amazon uses AI to improve customer experiences, from cashier-less stores to Alexa’s new tricks.”},{“title”:”These industries could be Amazon’s next targets”,”duration”:”02:42″,”sourceName”:”CNN Business”,”sourceLink”:”https://www.cnn.com/business”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/business/2018/10/09/amazon-2023-next-ventures-orig.cnn-business/index.xml”,”videoId”:”business/2018/10/09/amazon-2023-next-ventures-orig.cnn-business”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181003174843-lista-forbes-millonarios-jeff-bezos-bill-gates-portafolio-cnnee-00000005-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/business/2018/10/09/amazon-2023-next-ventures-orig.cnn-business/video/playlists/business-amazon/”,”description”:”Amazon has a voracious appetite for new ventures. 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Experts weigh in on what’s next for the already-trillion-dollar company.”},{“title”:”What happens when Amazon comes for your business?”,”duration”:”04:24″,”sourceName”:”CNN Business “,”sourceLink”:””,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/business/2018/10/03/this-is-what-happens-when-amazon-comes-for-your-business.cnn-business/index.xml”,”videoId”:”business/2018/10/03/this-is-what-happens-when-amazon-comes-for-your-business.cnn-business”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181001125327-world-according-to-amazon-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/business/2018/10/03/this-is-what-happens-when-amazon-comes-for-your-business.cnn-business/video/playlists/business-amazon/”,”description”:”CNN’s Jon Sarlin explains why companies panic when Amazon enters their markets and what unexpected opportunities that can bring.”,”descriptionText”:”CNN’s Jon Sarlin explains why companies panic when Amazon enters their markets and what unexpected opportunities that can bring.”},{“title”:”Can Amazon afford to get into the ad business?”,”duration”:”02:41″,”sourceName”:”CNN Business”,”sourceLink”:””,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/business/2018/10/05/amazons-ad-future-orig.cnn-business/index.xml”,”videoId”:”business/2018/10/05/amazons-ad-future-orig.cnn-business”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/180918185033-amazon-advertising-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/business/2018/10/05/amazons-ad-future-orig.cnn-business/video/playlists/business-amazon/”,”description”:”CNN’s Jon Sarlin looks into Amazon’s booming ad business. Could Amazon’s move into Google and Facebook’s space alienate its customers and vendors?”,”descriptionText”:”CNN’s Jon Sarlin looks into Amazon’s booming ad business. Could Amazon’s move into Google and Facebook’s space alienate its customers and vendors?”},{“title”:”Amazon is worth more than $1 trillion”,”duration”:”01:24″,”sourceName”:”CNN Business”,”sourceLink”:””,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/business/2018/09/26/amazon-is-worth-1-trillion-orig.cnn-business/index.xml”,”videoId”:”business/2018/09/26/amazon-is-worth-1-trillion-orig.cnn-business”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/180830094628-gfx-amazon-1-trillion-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/business/2018/09/26/amazon-is-worth-1-trillion-orig.cnn-business/video/playlists/business-amazon/”,”description”:”Amazon has doubled in market value in just a year and now joins Apple in the elite ranks of companies worth $1 trillion.”,”descriptionText”:”Amazon has doubled in market value in just a year and now joins Apple in the elite ranks of companies worth $1 trillion.”},{“title”:”Is Amazon a monopoly?”,”duration”:”04:14″,”sourceName”:”CNN Business”,”sourceLink”:””,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/business/2018/10/03/amazon-monopoly-orig.cnn-business/index.xml”,”videoId”:”business/2018/10/03/amazon-monopoly-orig.cnn-business”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181001181316-amazon-boxes-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/business/2018/10/03/amazon-monopoly-orig.cnn-business/video/playlists/business-amazon/”,”description”:”Amazon dominates online retail and is one of the most valuable companies in the world. But are consumers harmed by its low prices? CNN’s Jon Sarlin reports. “,”descriptionText”:”Amazon dominates online retail and is one of the most valuable companies in the world. But are consumers harmed by its low prices? CNN’s Jon Sarlin reports. “},{“title”:”Amazon raises minimum wage to $15 an hour”,”duration”:”03:00″,”sourceName”:”CNN Business”,”sourceLink”:””,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/business/2018/10/02/amazon-minimum-wage.cnn-business/index.xml”,”videoId”:”business/2018/10/02/amazon-minimum-wage.cnn-business”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/181002115644-01-us-amazon-employees-file-restricted-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/business/2018/10/02/amazon-minimum-wage.cnn-business/video/playlists/business-amazon/”,”description”:”Dave Clark, Amazon’s SVP of Global Operations, tells CNN’s Christine Romans that the minimum wage increase will “help us hire and retain the best people over the course of time.””,”descriptionText”:”Dave Clark, Amazon’s SVP of Global Operations, tells CNN’s Christine Romans that the minimum wage increase will “help us hire and retain the best people over the course of time.””},{“title”:”See Amazon’s new Prime delivery initiative”,”duration”:”01:35″,”sourceName”:”CNN Business”,”sourceLink”:””,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/business/2018/09/21/amazon-prime-delivery-partners-orig.cnn-business/index.xml”,”videoId”:”business/2018/09/21/amazon-prime-delivery-partners-orig.cnn-business”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/180921124933-amazon-prime-partners-cnn-business-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/business/2018/09/21/amazon-prime-delivery-partners-orig.cnn-business/video/playlists/business-amazon/”,”description”:”Amazon has announced a new program to create small businesses that can deliver its packages in branded vans and uniforms.”,”descriptionText”:”Amazon has announced a new program to create small businesses that can deliver its packages in branded vans and uniforms.”}],’js-video_headline-featured-2xgeph’,”,”js-video_source-featured-2xgeph”,true,true,’business-amazon’);if (typeof configObj.context !== ‘string’ || configObj.context.length

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XPO Logistics stock plunges as pull back by largest customer, weak Europe trump big buybacks – MarketWatch

Shares of XPO Logistics Inc. plummeted in active trade Friday, as the loss of business from its largest customer and weakness in Europe led to a disappointing earnings report, and overwhelmed relatively large share buybacks.

“Well look, there’s no other way to say it, we missed the quarter,” said Chief Executive Bradley Jacobs in a post-earnings conference call with analysts before the open, according to a transcript provided by FactSet.

The stock

XPO, -12.73%

dropped 15% in afternoon trade, enough to make it the NYSE’s second-biggest loser. Volume swelled to over 14.7 million shares, which was nearly seven times the full-day average.

Late Thursday, the Connecticut-based company reported fourth-quarter net income that fell to $84 million, or 62 cents a share, from $189 million, or $1.42 a share, a year ago. On an adjusted basis, earnings per share rose to 72 cents from 45 cents, but was below the FactSet consensus of 84 cents.

Revenue rose 4.6% $4.39 billion, but was below the FactSet consensus of $4.57 billion, as less-than-expected transportation revenue offset a slight beat in logistics. The company updated its 2019 revenue growth target to 3% to 5%, while the current FactSet revenue consensus of $18.48 billion implies 7% growth.

“We miscalculated the weakness in France and the U.K.,” Jacobs said. “And in December, our largest customer pulled back their postal injection business which is part of last mile.”

Although the company declined to comment on who the customer might be, JPMorgan analyst Brian Ossenbeck said the pullback is likely Amazon.com Inc.

AMZN, -0.91%

taking capacity in-house.

“Reading between the lines, we believe the shipper that is paring down its parcel injection, brokerage, last mile and logistics activity with XPO is Amazon,” Ossenbeck wrote in a note to clients.

See also: Why your Amazon packages may soon arrive faster.

See related: FedEx and UPS stocks sink, after analyst says Amazon taking business in-house could weigh.

XPO said the customer’s pullback will reduce 2019 revenue expectations by about $600 million, or about “two-thirds” of the customer’s revenue that the business generated in 2018. That implies the customer’s business represented about 5.2% of 2018 revenue of $17.28 billion.

Meanwhile, revenue from France represented 12.5% of 2018 total revenue of $17.28 billion and the U.K. represented 12.0%.

Another disappointment for XPO investors, the stock is now trading about 14% below where the company spent $1 billion to buy back and retire a large chunk of its common stock.

On Dec. 14, XPO announced a $1 billion stock repurchase program. That came a day after the stock suffered its biggest-ever one-day selloff to close at a near 2-year low, after short seller Spruce Capital Management said it believed financial irregularities were covering up growth problems at the company. At that time, the company said the short seller’s report was “intentionally misleading,” and contained “significant inaccuracies.”

Late Thursday, XPO said that program was completed on Feb. 4, as the company repurchased 18 million shares, or roughly 14% of the shares outstanding, at an average price of $56.09. From Dec. 13 to Feb. 4, the stock had run up 36%, with an average closing price of $58.45.

Separately, the company announced a new $1.5 billion repurchase program, which would allow it to buyback up to about 27% of its outstanding shares.

XPO’s stock has tumbled 35% over the past three months, while the Dow Jones Transportation Average

DJT, +0.29%

has slipped 0.6% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average

DJIA, +1.74%

has tacked on 1.3%.

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Oklahoma-Based Ditch Witch Sold To Toro For $700 Million – news9.com KWTV

“The addition of Charles Machine Works will further strengthen our portfolio of market-leading brands supported by talented employees, a commitment to innovation, a best-in-class dealer network and long-standing customer relationships,” said Richard M. Olson, Toro’s chairman and chief executive officer. “As an organization, Charles Machine Works aligns well with and will contribute to our own strategic priorities of profitable growth, operational excellence and empowering people. The company expands our business in a meaningful way in an adjacent category we know well through our own specialty construction business and in a market that is attractive given the potential for growth in addressing both aging infrastructure that is currently in place and new infrastructure that will be needed to support next generation technologies like 5G.”

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