October 24th Briefing: Tesla’s profit, Google’s breakthrough, WeWork’s decline and more…

By November 1, 2019 No Comments


Google says it’s made computing breakthrough

Google claims that it has made a major quantum computing breakthrough. In a paper published in Nature, it says that its Sycamore quantum processor was able to perform a calculation in 200 seconds that would take a conventional supercomputer 10,000 years to complete.

Quantum computing uses quantum mechanics to solve certain problems, like finding two prime factors of a number, important in cybersecurity, more efficiently with Google’s Sycamore processor having only 53 qbits available.

Zuckerberg testifies about Libra

Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Faceboook, was in Washington DC yesterday to answer questions about the planned cryptocurrency Libra. Both Republican and Democratic Congresspeople grilled Mr Zuckerberg, who had to answer questions about Facebook’s broader business, including over the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Libra needs regulatory approval before it launches, and Mr Zuckerberg’s appearance was to try and help get that. He is also hoping the Libra Association, a group of companies supporting Libra, will help too, though some firms, like Visa, have already pulled out.

Tesla announces surprising profit

The electric vehicle maker was able to tell markets yesterday that it had reversed a $1.1bn loss in the first half of the year to make a profit of $143m on revenues of $6.3bn in the third quarter. Tesla stock rose as much as 20% in the aftermath.

Revenue is down from last year’s $6.8bn in the same period last year and below expectations of $6.5bn. Cost control has been one of the major ways Tesla has profited, with a good outlook as the Model Y is ahead of schedule and the company is on track to deliver at least 360,000 cars this year.

WeWork to cut 4,000 jobs

With the recent shakeup of WeWork, SoftBank has taken over and ousted Adam Neumann from a leadership role for the most part, the firm is looking to put the disaster of its planned IPO behind it. With the resecue money invested by SoftBank, 4,000 jobs will be cut. WeWork had held off making people redundant as it didn’t have enough money for severance packages.

WeWork employs around 14,000 people. A quarter of the cuts, 1,000 people, will be cleaners, with WeWork looking to outsource that job.

Trump lifts Turkey sanctions

President Trump had previously levied sanctions on Turkish industry, notably its steel industry, in retaliation for the invasion of Kurdish territory in northern Syria. Turkey and Russia agreed yesterday to President Erdogan’s desired safe zone on the Syrian frontier. Kurdish troops have been removed from the area and fighting has stopped.

President Trump claimed responsibility for halting the hostilities. US troops were earlier withdrawn from the area prompting the Turkish offensive.