Making a difference. It was election day across the country on Tuesday, you might have noticed. In very tech-oriented results, San Francisco voters approved Proposition C, raising the city’s gross receipts tax by one-half percentage point on companies with at least $50 million in revenue to raise money for addressing homelessness. “Let the city come together in Love for those who need it most! There is no finish line when it come to helping the homeless,” tweeted Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, who favored the measure.
Sharing is caring. In a possible body blow to its primary business model, Qualcomm lost a federal court ruling and could be required to license some of its key wireless technologies to rival modem makers. District Court Judge Lucy Koh on Tuesday approved a motion for partial summary judgment from the Federal Trade Commission, finding that “Qualcomm cannot discriminate against modem chip suppliers.” Qualcomm will likely appeal and Wall Street was unfazed. After an initial dip, Qualcomm’s stock finished the day about unchanged.
Not unhappy about not touching that. New York City’s Metropolitan Transit Authority will do away with paper fare cards next year in favor of a contactless payments system in subway turnstiles. I am pretty sure this means mobile payment apps like Apple Pay and Google Pay will also work.
Vocal changes. The head of Microsoft’s Cortana digital assistant project, Javier Soltero, is leaving the company. Cortana’s design director, Samuel Moreau, left Microsoft last month. The moves follow CEO Satya Nadella’s decision to shift the Cortana effort from Microsoft’s A.I. unit to its Experiences & Devices team.
Burning the midnight oil. I find this study hard to believe, but I have neither the cryptocurrency nor electricity-calculating knowledge to dispute it. Researchers at the Oakridge Institute for Science and Education in Ohio say mining bitcoin (via computer) requires about three times more energy per U.S. dollar than mining gold and other metals. Aluminum mining, however, required substantially more energy than all other metals and cryptocurrencies compared in the study.
Burning down the house. It’s mostly speculation how rising interest rates could hurt tech stocks, but not at one tech stock in particular. Real estate listing app Zillow reported its third quarter revenue grew 22% to $343 million, but warned that fourth quarter revenue would be $340 million to $357 million. Analysts had expected closer to $370 million, missing how higher rates were already slowing the housing market. Zillow’s stock dropped 19% in premarket trading on Wednesday.