Honda unveils plans for new EV lineu

Imagine never running out of milk again. You pour the last bit into your cereal — which is, incidentally, also empty now — and then head to work. By the time you get home, the empties have been replaced as if by magic.

Walmart thinks it can make this happen, with the help of AI. The company announced a new feature of its InHome replenishment service that aims to automatically order the right stuff at the right time, and hand it off to a delivery person who can drop things off in a fridge in your house. Shoppers with the $20 monthly InHome membership already get the seamless drop-off, but they still have to select items themselves. By training its models on both your habits and Walmart’s overall knowledge of how people buy and consume stuff, the company figures it can begin to make your grocery list for you.

Walmart is expanding its drone delivery program to 1.8 million more households in Texas. The retailer says its drone deliveries now cover 75 percent of the population in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area, all thanks to partnerships with drone startups Wing and Zipline.

Walmart launched its drone delivery program with Zipline and DroneUp in Arkansas in 2021 before expanding it to more states in 2022. The newly expanded service in Texas allows customers living within 10 miles of a participating Walmart to get items delivered to their homes via drone.

A few months after Intel’s CEO announced plans to put AI into “everything,” we’re starting to get a clearer picture of where it will go first. Today, the company announced its AI-focused chip for the automotive sector or, as Intel describes it, “the first-generation AI-enhanced software-defined vehicle system-on-chip.” Intel also announced the acquisition of an energy management company and a new effort to standardize battery power for electric vehicles.

Intel has been locked in a race with Nvidia and AMD to corner the market in processors and other hardware needed to fuel the AI boom. Now, it’s shifting to AI PCs, arguing that AI is more secure when running on a personal computer as opposed to over the internet.

Sony and Honda’s in-development Afeela EV will let you display messages and images on its front bumper, according to a new video about the car, including the ability to... advertise video games.

You can see the screen-ified bumper — sorry, the “Media Bar” — starting at 3:17 in the video. The video does show some more sensible uses of the Media Bar, like displaying the name of the car, a red warning sign, or even a birthday greeting. But the video also shows how you can display logos for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-VerseFortnite, and Horizon Forbidden West Complete Edition, which is just ridiculous.

Japanese automaker Honda Motor (7267.T) announced on Tuesday plans to launch a new electric vehicle series in 2026, as it plays catch-up with global rivals in the shift to battery-powered cars.

Japan's second-biggest car maker has been slow to step up EV sales, lagging behind European and U.S. competitors such as General Motors (GM.N) and Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE), while facing a challenge from newer rivals such as China's BYD (002594.SZ).

Honda unveiled its "Honda 0 Series" and two concept models at the CES trade show in Las Vegas that it hopes will help it reach its goal of having battery-powered and fuel-cell vehicles make up all of its new car sales by 2040.

The automaker aims to roll out the first models of its new series by 2026, Honda executives told a December media briefing in Tokyo ahead of the announcement. The series will be launched globally, starting from the North American market.

The executives did not share at that briefing details of the series, such as pricing or how many models the company will launch as part of it and how many vehicles it seeks to sell.

Battery powered vehicles accounted for less than 0.5% of Honda's worldwide sales of about 2.8 million cars over the first nine months of 2023, coming to about 11,000 vehicles, according to company data.

It sold about 10,400 of those, or around 93%, in China, but none in North America.

Honda has previously said it plans to build two million EVs globally a year by 2030 and has laid out a target to introduce 30 models powered solely by a battery by that year.

Canadian officials are meeting representatives of Honda this week, a government source said, following a news report that the carmaker was considering building an almost 2 trillion yen ($13.9 billion) electric vehicle plant in the country.

"There is a possibility that we will build a plant in Canada," Honda CEO Toshihiro Mibe was quoted by the Nikkei Business Daily as telling reporters on Tuesday in Las Vegas.

One concept model it showcased at the CES trade show was the Saloon, a sedan that was likely to seat four or five passengers.

While parts of its design may still change, the concept was likely to resemble quite closely how the vehicle would look in production, executives said at the Tokyo briefing.

The other concept the automaker unveiled was the Space-Hub, a van-like vehicle that was expected to seat six or seven people, the executives said.

Honda also disclosed its new EV series will sport a revamped logo that will use a more tilted and sleeker design than its existing one.'s (AMZN.O) streaming unit Twitch is set to cut 35% of its staff or about 500 workers, Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the plans.

The move could be announced as soon as Wednesday, the report added.

The business remains unprofitable nine years after Amazon's acquisition of the company, the report said.

Twitch did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comments.

Twitch CEO Dan Clancy said in December that the company would shut down operations in South Korea in February this year, due to high operating costs and network fees.

The company had laid off more than 400 employees in March last year after its user and revenue growth did not meet expectations.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE.N) will buy networking gear maker Juniper Networks (JNPR.N) for $14 billion in an all-cash deal, in an attempt to spruce up the company's artificial intelligence (AI) offerings.

HPE offered $40 per share to Juniper shareholders, the companies said on Tuesday. That represents a 32.4% premium to the stock's close on Monday, when the news of the deal first emerged.

The acquisition comes at a time when the AI gold rush has led companies to pour billions of dollars into upgrading and developing new wares and is expected to double HPE's networking business.

HPE, grappling with sluggish demand in its traditional server business, is looking to tap into Juniper's offerings such as network security and AI-enabled enterprise networking operations (AIOps).

Weak demand from inflation-hit wireless carriers and cable operators, as well as stiff competition from Cisco Systems (CSCO.O) and Nvidia (NVDA.O) in the networking space, has been a drag on Juniper.

Shares of Juniper were up 0.5% in extended trading after the bell, while those of HPE were largely flat.

The deal is expected to be accretive to HPE's non-GAAP earnings and free cash flow in the first year post completion, the companies said.

The transaction is expected to be funded through financing commitments for $14 billion in term loans and is likely to close in late 2024 or early 2025, subject to regulatory approvals.

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and Qatalyst Partners are serving as HPE's financial advisors.

The U.S. securities regulator said someone briefly accessed its X social media account on Tuesday and posted a fake message saying it had approved exchange-traded funds (ETF) for bitcoin, a move eagerly awaited by the crypto industry.

However, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said it has not yet approved spot bitcoin ETFs, and its account on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, had been compromised briefly by an unknown party after about 4 p.m. Eastern time (2100 GMT). The "unauthorized access has been terminated," the agency said.

It will work with law enforcement to investigate the hack and "related conduct," the SEC said.

X confirmed late on Tuesday that the SEC's account was compromised and said it was because of an "unidentified individual" obtaining control over a phone number associated with the agency's account through a third party.

The social media site owned by Elon Musk also said the SEC did not have two-factor authentication enabled at the time the account was compromised and the hack was not due to any breach of X's systems, citing a preliminary investigation.

The unauthorized post said the SEC had granted approval for bitcoin ETFs on all registered national securities exchanges and included a picture purporting to quote SEC Chair Gary Gensler. The price of bitcoin rose after the post, which was picked up by Reuters and other news media that monitor the SEC's account.

Reuters Graphics
Reuters Graphics

The posting came as the SEC was widely expected on Wednesday to finally approve a batch of ETFs that track the price of bitcoin, in a potential watershed moment for the crypto industry. The unauthorized post surprised the industry, with insiders scrambling to find out whether it was true and why the SEC would first publish something on social media.

Executives from some ETF issuers, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, said they were startled and surprised by the initial tweet.

One executive said he was "concerned" that the SEC might delay or withhold approval for spot bitcoin ETFs as a result of the hack.

Two issuers, speaking on condition of anonymity, said it was not immediately clear whether the hack would impact the timeline for approvals of the spot bitcoin ETFs. The SEC is due to deliver a decision on a joint proposal from Ark Investments and 21Shares on Wednesday.

Anthony Tu-Sekine, a lawyer who heads the blockchain and cryptocurrency group at the firm of Seward & Kissel in Washington, said he did not believe the incident would change the likelihood of approvals at this late stage.

Tu-Sekine said it was not clear why someone would do something like that when the approval was already widely expected. “This is really puzzling," Tu-Sekine said.


By 4:11 p.m. ET, the post on the SEC's X account had received at least 1 million views. Fewer than 20 minutes later, it was no longer visible and appeared to have been deleted.

The price of bitcoin shot up to around $48,000 on the fake post, before falling to below $45,000 minutes later. It was last down 3.15% at $45,513 after the SEC deleted and disavowed the information. Some analysts had expected bitcoin to fall on the ETF approvals, after gaining more than 70% in recent months on the expectation of a greenlight.

The SEC declined to say whether authorities have begun to investigate the compromise or whether the incident will affect potential approvals. The SEC has previously rejected all spot bitcoin ETF proposals over fears of market manipulation.

Accounts on X, like accounts on other social media platforms, are sometimes hijacked by stealing passwords or tricking targets into giving up their login credentials.

Accounts can also be hijacked by compromising the social media platform itself. In 2020, for example, a teenage hacker and his friends broke into X's internal computer network and seized control of dozens of high-profile accounts, using the access to promote a cryptocurrency scam.

Accounts belonging to Barack Obama, Kim Kardashian, Jeff Bezos, and Elon Musk were among those affected at the time.

A spokesperson for X did not respond to a request for comment.

“We've come to depend upon this instant social media hit to find out what's going on in the world," James Angel, associate professor at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business. "We're definitely going to be more and more vulnerable to this kind of instant misinformation."

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