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Wheels: Virtual Reality Is Carmakers’ Latest Selling Tool, at Shows and in Showrooms

Supported by Business Day Virtual Reality Is Carmakers’ Latest Selling Tool, at Shows and in Showrooms Photo An engineer, Howard Lin, fine-tuning the Dodge Drag Strip Simulator for this year’s New York International Auto Show. Credit Joshua Bright for The New York Times Advances in microprocessor and electronic-sensor technology have helped turn today’s car into an immersive multimedia experience spread across high-definition screens. But car companies do not limit the technological flash to the inside of the car — high-tech, gaming-inspired marketing pitches are following right on its bumper.
Automakers are offering augmented reality experiences, video displays that involve the viewer and lifelike virtual reality simulations to lure buyers. The most sophisticated executions are developed primarily for events like the New York International Auto Show, opening to the public on Friday.
At shows filled with outrageous concept cars and shiny models making their debuts, it takes more t..

Common Sense: Facebook Falls From Grace, and Investors’ Stock Holdings Tumble Too

Supported by Business Day Facebook Falls From Grace, and Investors’ Stock Holdings Tumble Too Photo Jeff Zuckerberg’s company has lost $100 billion in market capitalization since hitting its peak on Feb. 2. Credit Drew Angerer/Getty Images Over the last half decade, few stocks have been more beloved by investors and Wall Street analysts than Facebook. No wonder: After a rocky initial public offering in 2012, it has rolled over one obstacle after another, including the shift to mobile computing and the rise of photo sharing. It delivered revenue and user growth that surpassed even the most optimistic projections.
By the end of last year, Facebook had 2.2 billion active users. Its stock rose 53 percent last year, single-handedly accounting for 3.7 percent of the 21.8 percent gain in the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index, according to S.&P. Dow Jones Indices. By early February, its market capitalization had surpassed $560 billion, making it the fifth most valuable company in the inde..

Once Home to U.K.’s Jews, Labour Party Is Embroiled in Anti-Semitism Claims

Once Home to U.K.’s Jews, Labour Party Is Embroiled in Anti-Semitism Claims Photo A rally in London on Monday against anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. One Labour lawmaker said anti-Semitism in the party was “more conspicuous, more commonplace and more corrosive” than at any time she could remember. Credit Jack Taylor/Getty Images LONDON — The mural emblazoned on a wall in east London has long been painted over, but the image remains jarring: a group of caricatured, stereotypically Jewish bankers playing Monopoly on the backs of the poor.
So when it appeared in the Twitter feed of a British lawmaker — along with a question about why the leader of her opposition Labour party, Jeremy Corbyn, once opposed its removal — Luciana Berger wanted answers.
I asked the Leader’s Office for an explanation about this Facebook post first thing this morning. I’m still waiting for a response.
— Luciana Berger (@lucianaberger) March 23, 2018 For hours, she heard nothing fr..

Trilobites: Why Do Cracking Knuckles Make That Sound? You Might Need a Calculator

Why Do Cracking Knuckles Make That Sound? You Might Need a Calculator Photo Scans from a MRI machine in a 2015 study that looked at what happened inside a knuckle when it cracked. Credit University of Alberta In some households, cracking your knuckles is a declaration of war. Whether you’re in the camp that can’t stand the sound or the one that can’t see what the fuss is about, you might be surprised to learn that where exactly the sound is coming from — what precisely in the knuckle produces it — is still a subject of scientific research.
For more than 50 years people have been publishing scholarly papers about what is going on in your finger as you pull it. Lately an older theory, that the sound arises from the popping of a bubble in the joint, has been challenged by one that holds that the formation of the bubble itself is responsible. On Thursday in the journal Scientific Reports, the saga continued: A pair of researchers at the Ecole Polytechnique in France reveal a mathematical m..

Wall Street Rises as Technology Shares Gain

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Business Day

Wall Street Rises as Technology Shares Gain

(Reuters) – U.S. stocks were higher on Thursday as technology shares showed signs of recovery following a selloff in the last two weeks that was triggered by worries over increased regulations.
Shares of Facebook, Apple and Alphabet were up between 0.15 percent and 1.3 percent, driving a 0.4 percent gain in the S&P technology index.
The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were on track to log their worst quarter in more than two years on concerns over a global trade war and interest rate hikes, as well as a rout in technology stocks caused by Facebook Inc's data scandal.
“We've gone through a period of increased volatility and one with competing narratives – the bond market is telling us something about the economy and the stock market is concerned about valuations in technology shares,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B. Riley FBR in Boston.


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To Avoid More Racist Hoodies, Retailers Seek Diversity

Supported by Business Day To Avoid More Racist Hoodies, Retailers Seek Diversity Photo Annie Wu was hired as H&M’s diversity manager after the company was taken to task for a hoodie that raised complaints of racism. Credit Karsten Moran for The New York Times Every once in a while, tucked into the stream of speedily made garments rushed into stores, designs with shockingly bad taste stand out: a shirt comparing women to dogs at Topman, symbols of the Holocaust on a top at Zara, a slogan that trivializes sexual consent on a piece at Forever 21, or words like “slave” and “slut” used as decorative details on T-shirts at ASOS and Missguided.
Brands, even as they offer mea culpas, rarely explain how such blunders come to pass. But problematic designs seem to repeatedly slip past layers of buyers, designers, stylists, marketers and managers before being caught by consumers.
Retail experts blame a heated competitive environment, where companies, many of them based in Europe, are spread t..

China Moves to Sideline Underground Bishop, His Colleagues Say

China Moves to Sideline Underground Bishop, His Colleagues Say Photo A Palm Sunday Mass at an underground church near Shijiazhuang, China, last year. The Roman Catholic Church in China is divided between churches loyal to Rome and those approved by Beijing. Credit Kevin Frayer/Getty Images The authorities are trying to keep out of the public eye during Easter week an underground Chinese bishop at the center of a controversial deal between Beijing and the Vatican, according to people working in his office.
A Rome-based news agency has reported that Guo Xijin was briefly detained on Monday because he refused to celebrate the upcoming Easter Mass with the government-approved bishop, but people working in his parish office said the aim was to keep him out of the spotlight during the days around Easter, which is celebrated this coming Sunday.
Bishop Guo, 59, of the Mindong diocese in central-eastern China, was taken to the city of Xiamen. He was allowed to return home on Wednesday for famil..