Morning Money Memo…
Cool ideas to power the future: Drones for farmers, brain mapping for neuroscientists and super-private smartphones are among the 10 breakthrough technologies highlighted in the new, annual list by MIT Technology Review.
The magazine’s rundown is a reminder that innovations will continue to change the way we live and, in many cases, offer improvements.
A new mind map, a decade in the works, “shows structures of the brain in far greater detail than ever before,” and gives neuroscientists new ways to look at the brain’s incredible complexity.
The magazine also reports on new efforts to build smartphones for the Snowden area. New models are being introduced with extra security and privacy that would make it far more difficult for eavesdroppers to monitor phone calls.
With growing populations, demand for food continues to rise.
“Relatively cheap drones with advanced sensors and imaging capabilities are giving farmers new ways to increase yields and reduce crop damage,” says the Review.
Low Satisfaction With Airlines
No signs of improvement for airline passengers. Yes, more Wi-Fi, recharging stations and updated entertainment systems will help in the future. But a survey of consumers found airlines have the lowest customer satisfaction ratings of any travel-related industry.
“It doesn’t surprise me, especially with so many mergers: the labor forces of so many airlines have been faced with compensation cuts, changes in corporate culture,” says travel blogger Brian Kelly of thepointsguy.com. “Airlines’ employees are not happy, and that trickles down to the consumer.”
This summer during peak travel times, Kelly says, it pays for passengers to know their rights in case they are bumped from an overbooked flight. But don’t go to the airport with attitude.
“You’ve got to a set your expectations, enter that airport with your goal, which is to get to your destination and take things as they come,” he says.
GM Probed Over Chevy Impala
Federal regulators are investigating GM’s 2014 Chevy Impala after a driver reported that the emergency braking system activated multiple times without warning.
In one case, the driver says the Impala was traveling at 40 miles per hour with no one in front of it when the brakes activated. The car was rear-ended. No injuries were reported.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration opened the investigation to determine whether the alleged defect is widespread.
Toyota Is No. 1
Toyota is still number one in global sales. The Japanese automaker says it sold more than 2.58 million vehicles in this year’s first quarter, ahead of Detroit-based GM, at 2.42 million, and Volkswagen of Germany, at 2.4 million.
Toyota finished last year with nearly 10 million sales, remaining the top-selling auto firm for the second year in a row.
Deal-making and strong profits reports lifted the stock market for another day. The averages rose for the sixth straight session – the longest Wall Street winning streak since last September. Shares in Netflix and Harley-Davidson both jumped after they reported earnings that beat analysts’ expectations.
AOL Strengthens Security
AOL is beefing up its email security amid a recent rash of hack attacks. The changes will instruct recipient mailboxes to reject any message from an AOL domain that did not originate from an AOL server.
This comes after recent complaints from users who’d had their accounts hacked and used for sending out spam messages.