Technology

Source: Alabama picked for new Toyota Mazda factory in works

DETROIT — Japanese automakers Toyota and Mazda have chosen the state of Alabama for a $1.6 billion joint-venture auto plant that is to begin operating by 2021 and eventually employ about 4,000 people, a person briefed on the decision said. The manufacturing plant is to be built in the Huntsville area in Limestone County, said …

SpaceX says rocket performance OK in secret satellite launch

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — SpaceX defended its rocket performance during the weekend launch of a secret U.S. satellite, responding Tuesday to media reports that the satellite codenamed Zuma was lost. Company President Gwynne Shotwell said the Falcon 9 rocket “did everything correctly” Sunday night and suggestions otherwise are “categorically false.” Northrop Grumman — which provided …

France investigates Apple for slowing down old iPhones

PARIS—French prosecutors have opened an investigation into Apple over revelations it secretly slowed down older versions of its handsets. The Paris prosecutor’s office said Tuesday a probe was opened last week over alleged “deception and planned obsolescence” of some Apple products. It is led by the French body in charge of fraud control, which is …

Autos overshadow the small gadgets at CES tech show in Vegas

LAS VEGAS—The smartphones and other small machines that used to dominate the annual CES gadget show have been overshadowed in recent years by bigger mobile devices: namely, automobiles. Auto companies typically save more practical announcements about new cars, trucks and SUVs for the upcoming Detroit auto show. But major automakers like Toyota, Kia, Hyundai and …

CRTC urged to hold public inquiry into telecom industry’s sales tactics

OTTAWA—The CRTC is being urged to hold a public inquiry into the sales practices of the country’s major telecommunications service providers. The formal request to the federal regulator comes from the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, an Ottawa-based non-profit group that often battles with Canada’s major telecommunications service providers and regulated media companies. PIAC executive director …

Fear not the alphabet soup of TV features unveiled at CES

LAS VEGAS — Flummoxed by the alphabet soup of features on new TVs? TV manufacturers are showcasing new models at the CES gadget show in Las Vegas this week — all with acronyms to set their sets apart. One feature called HDR10+ takes what’s known as high-dynamic range and adjusts settings for each frame, instead …

Robot duck’s aim: Helps kids with cancer via power of play

ATLANTA — A plush, robotic duck may soon become a fixture in the world of children who have cancer — a social robot that can be silly, happy, angry, scared or sick just like them, and help them cope creatively with their illness through the power of play. The duck, developed by robotics expert Aaron …

Apple investors urge action to curb child gadget addiction

NEW YORK — Two Apple investors are urging the iPhone maker to take action to curb growing smartphone addiction among children. Jana Partners LLC and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, or CalSTRS, said Monday in open letter to Apple that the company must offer more choices and tools to help youngsters fight addiction to …

Retail workers feel disruption from shifting shopper habits

NEW YORK — With new options and conveniences, there’s never been a better time for shoppers. As for workers … well, not always. The retail industry is being radically reshaped by technology, and nobody feels that disruption more starkly than 16 million American shelf stockers, salespeople, cashiers and others. The shifts are driven, like much …

Ford adds diesel engine to F 150 for the first time

DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. is offering a diesel engine in its F-150 pickup for the first time. Heavy duty trucks like the F-250 or F-350 have always had diesel engines, but full-size trucks like the F-150 have not. Ford is hoping to gain some customers from rivals Ram and Nissan, which both offer diesels …

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