Pence vows more trade war ‘until China changes its ways’

Vice President Mike Pence took a harsh line on China at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Papua New Guinea on Saturday, pledging Washington “will not change course” on trade policy “until China changes its ways.”

“We have great respect for [Chinese President Xi Jinping] and China,” Pence said, “but as we all know, China has taken advantage of the United States for many, many years, and those days are over.” He accused Beijing of unfair trade and lending practices and suggested additional tariffs may be on the way.

President Xi also spoke, arguing, “Unilateralism and protectionism will not solve problems but add uncertainty to the world economy.” He called for further cooperation on trade and infrastructure development, defending his signature Belt-and-Road Initiative against Pence’s critique. “History has shown that confrontation, whether in the form of a cold war, a hot war, or a trade war, produces no winners,” Xi said.

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Source:: The Week – Business


Elon Musk is building a brick store called The Brick Store, and he’s hiring a ‘knight’ to guard it

Elon Musk’s tweets often seem like jokes. They never are.

In September, the Tesla and SpaceX founder tweeted that he’d be opening a “brick store” in about two months. “Only 10 cents a brick!” he touted. And while Musk’s self-imposed due date has come and gone, The Brick Store LLC is set in stone, TechCrunch reports.

Musk has spent the past two years working on a project called The Boring Company, which literally bores holes through the Earth to create tunnels that alleviate traffic. Just Friday, The Boring Company completed a tunnel under Los Angeles that Musk has called “disturbingly long.” Another tunnel to Los Angeles’ Dodger Stadium is also in the works, which people will travel through on “autonomous electric skates” that travel up to 150 miles per hour, per the company’s website.

But all that boring moves a lot of dirt. And with dirt, you can make bricks. That’s the simple premise behind The Brick Company, which Musk started in July, per public documents obtained by TechCrunch. Bricks will be available for purchase at a brick-and-mortar shop called — what else — The Brick Store, the documents show. The Brick Store will be made of bricks and accented by “forbidding black steel security grilles,” TechCrunch writes, and will be located right outside the just-completed tunnel.

Musk branded what seemed to be The Brick Store as “a watchtower” in a tweet yesterday, and announced The Boring Company was hiring “a knight to yell insults at people in a French accent” from its dirt brick facade. Please, read more at TechCrunch.

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Source:: The Week – Business


Opinion: Google at Diridon creates rare downtown opportunity

I’m a proud resident of San Jose and I’m excited for the opportunity for a vibrant downtown with the arrival of Google to the Diridon Station area.

Rather than leaving our region, Google has proposed growing locally, bringing 15,000 to 20,000 new jobs to downtown San Jose over the next decade. This opportunity would connect those who live or work there to public transit, including Caltrain, Amtrak, light rail, and — by 2026 — BART. The Diridon Station area would be a destination for all, including homes, shops, restaurants, offices and open spaces – all open to the public.

There are numerous reasons that the vast majority of San Jose residents support the opportunity of Google in our downtown:

• Job Creation: It will be an important source of jobs for San Jose, supporting more than 1,000 full-time, family supporting construction jobs and between 15,000 and 20,000 permanent new jobs.

• Strong Economy: Google at Diridon will have enormous economic benefits for San Jose residents. Experts estimate that it will generate millions of dollars annually in new tax revenue for the city, county, and local school districts. This revenue will support local services like K-12 education, public safety, road repairs, public transit, parks, and our County Hospital.

• Open Space: It will include new parkland and open space that will be open and available to the public. It will also utilize the space between buildings to create parks, plazas, and Paseos for members of the community to gather.

• Affordable Housing: The most critical challenge facing San Jose is a lack of affordable housing. Young people who grow up here have to move away to find an affordable place to live; seniors who want to downsize have to do the same. Google at Diridon will generate revenue that directly supports building more affordable housing and a …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Business


Editorial: Internet Bill of Rights deserves tech industry support

The tech industry should throw its full support behind Bay Area Congressman Ro Khanna’s Internet Bill of Rights proposal, which would end the United States’ distinction as the only major developed nation without fundamental online user protections.

The beauty of Khanna’s proposal is that it walks the tightrope of protecting consumers’ basic rights without damaging the tech industry’s ability to innovate. Khanna sought input from dozens of consumer groups and tech companies before making his proposal public last month. The initial response offers reason for optimism. It’s generating widespread support from consumer advocates and such tech luminaries as Apple CEO Tim Cook and Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web.

Getting anything — especially legislation emanating from California — passed through Congress and signed by the president won’t be easy. But this issue offers an opportunity for bipartisan compromise that would benefit both business and consumers.

The need is greater than ever before. Four years ago this newspaper editorialized that consumer confidence in tech products was falling at alarming rates around the world and that it was urgent that the tech industry work with the federal government on fundamental online user protections.

That didn’t happen. Today, some of Silicon Valley’s giants are being properly chastised for a multitude of sins. They have a lot of work to do if they hope to win back the nation’s trust.

Khanna’s 10-point proposal includes these basic rights:

1) To have access to and knowledge of all collection and uses of personal data by companies;

2) To have opt-in consent to the collection of personal data by any party and to the sharing of personal data with a third party;

3) Where context appropriate and with a fair process, to obtain, correct, or delete personal data controlled by any company and to have those requests honored by third parties;

4) To have …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Business


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