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Custom Electric Cars Take Charge at SEMA 2021

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Las Vegas is currently hosting its annual visit by SEMA, the aftermarket automotive trade show. Hot rods and custom cars have always been a SEMA thing, but these days there’s no guarantee you’ll find a brawny V8 or even any cylinders under the hood. In the past, we’ve covered show cars from Ford and Chevrolet, but this year the electric custom car is a full-blown trend.

Of course, the big OEMs haven’t ignored SEMA this year. Ford’s still in the first flush of Mustang Mach-E mania, and the Blue Oval brought multiple Mach-Es to the show. One is an aggressive-looking Mach-E GT that’ll be auctioned for charity after hopefully hitting 200 mph (321 km/h) at Bonneville, and another is bright orange with lowered air suspension and an e-bike charging rack at the back.

But the one that really caught my attention is a Shelby Mustang Mach-E GT concept, complete with the iconic white-with-blue-stripe livery. I’m not sure it’s any faster than the Mach-E GT Performance Edition that recently brightened my day, but it does look even better, with graphene-infused carbon-fiber bodywork.

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Source: arstechnica.com

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Senate Gives Rosenworcel New FCC Term, but Republicans Aim to Block Gigi Sohn

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Enlarge / FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Communications and Technology Subcommittee on December 5, 2019, in Washington, DC. (credit: Getty Images | Chip Somodevilla)

The US Senate today approved a new five-year term for Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. Today’s vote ensured that Rosenworcel won’t have to leave the commission at the end of the year. But the FCC is still deadlocked at 2-2 between Democrats and Republicans—and the GOP is mounting a serious challenge against Gigi Sohn, the Biden nominee who would give Democrats a 3-2 majority.

Today’s vote on Rosenworcel was 68-31, with Democrats and some Republicans approving the renomination. We’ll update this story with more specifics on today’s Senate vote later, but you can see the results of last night’s cloture vote to end debate on the renomination here.

“It’s the honor of my lifetime to lead the FCC and serve as the first permanent female Chair,” Rosenworcel wrote on Twitter after the vote. “Thank you to the President and Senate for entrusting me with this responsibility. There’s work to do to make sure modern communications reach everyone, everywhere. Now let’s get to it.”

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Source: arstechnica.com

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This Week’s Earnings Repertoire

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Last week ended with the Omicron Covid variant casting a shadow over the joy revolving around the upcoming holidays. This week, Costco (NASDAQ: COST), Stitch Fix (NASDAQ: SFIX), Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ: LULU), and GameStop Corporation (NYSE: GME) will show how they are weathering global challenges that even got the big ones tripped up.

1. Stitch Fix

The online apparel specialist’s shares have been having a hard time this year, which means the bar is set low for its Tuesday report. Back in September, management expected sales growth to slow to as low as 15% in the new fiscal year, compared to last year’s 23%. Although that slowdown might be temporary, Wall Street is worried about the impact of slowing growth, rising competition, and pressured margins due to supply chain disruptions and inflationary costs.

Adding direct shopping offerings is expected to help the subscription-based apparel delivery service business unlock a much bigger addressable market. But as it faces off well-established rivals, Stitch Fix has fewer competitive advantages.

Everyone’s eyes will be on the engagement metrics such as average spending will help show whether Stitch Fix is succeeding in reaccelerating sales growth. But investors are doubting the business’ capability to recapture that 20% sales …

Full story available on Benzinga.com

Original Source: benzinga.com

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The Movement to Hold AI Accountable Gains More Steam

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Enlarge (credit: MirageC | Getty Images)

Algorithms play a growing role in our lives, even as their flaws are becoming more apparent: a Michigan man wrongly accused of fraud had to file for bankruptcy; automated screening tools disproportionately harm people of color who want to buy a home or rent an apartment; Black Facebook users were subjected to more abuse than white users. Other automated systems have improperly rated teachers, graded students, and flagged people with dark skin more often for cheating on tests.

Now, efforts are underway to better understand how AI works and hold users accountable. New York’s City Council last month adopted a law requiring audits of algorithms used by employers in hiring or promotion. The law, the first of its kind in the nation, requires employers to bring in outsiders to assess whether an algorithm exhibits bias based on sex, race, or ethnicity. Employers also must tell job applicants who live in New York when artificial intelligence plays a role in deciding who gets hired or promoted.

In Washington, DC, members of Congress are drafting a bill that would require businesses to evaluate automated decision-making systems used in areas such as health care, housing, employment, or education, and report the findings to the Federal Trade Commission; three of the FTC’s five members support stronger regulation of algorithms. An AI Bill of Rights proposed last month by the White House calls for disclosing when AI makes decisions that impact a person’s civil rights, and it says AI systems should be “carefully audited” for accuracy and bias, among other things.

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Original Source: arstechnica.com

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