Apple spruces up Macs, iPad Pros and raises prices

(Reuters) – Apple Inc (AAPL.O) refreshed some of its lesser-known products at a New York event on Tuesday, adding iPhone features like facial recognition to the iPad Pro and faster processors and better displays to some Mac computers that had gone years without a major update.

A line of new iPad Pros stands ready for demos during an Apple launch event in the Brooklyn borough of New York, U.S., October 30, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

The devices will hit stores on Nov. 7. Counting new iPhones and Apple Watches released last month, Apple will have more than half a dozen new products on shelves for the holiday shopping season, many at higher prices than previous models.

The Cupertino, California, company introduced new versions of the iPad Pro, its higher-end tablet that competes with Microsoft Corp’s (MSFT.O) Surface, with thinner bezels and more screen space, along with the face unlock system found on Apple’s newer iPhones.

Prices for the iPad Pros increased to $799 and $999 for 11- and 12.9-inch models, though Apple plans to keep an older 10.5-inch version on sale for $649.

Apple unveiled the updates at an opera house at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, calling the venue a haven for creative activity. The company has been working to win back professionals like graphic designers targeted by Microsoft with its Surface tablets, which have gained market share this year.

Apple also played up software partnerships with Adobe Inc (ADBE.O) and Autodesk Inc (ADSK.O), whose programs will now work on Apple’s iPad Pro.

In July Apple reported its worst quarter of Mac sales since 2010, with unit volumes down 13 percent year over year, while iPad unit sales rose only 1 percent from a year earlier. Revenue for both fell 5 percent from the prior year.

A new version of the Mac Book Air, originally released in 2011, will feature a higher-resolution display and thinner bezels and start at $1,199, up from $999.

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“Yes, you save a bit compared to the Mac Book Pro, but that’s not your main reason for buying it,” which is instead power and portability, said Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at Creative Strategies. She said Apple “knows they have a very loyal user base that will be willing to spend the money.”

Apple said the Mac Mini, a small desktop customers provide their own display and accessories for, would add processing power and memory capacity and start at $799, also an increase.

As with previous models, the new machines rely on processors from Intel Corp (INTC.O), but Apple said an increasing number of security features on the devices are being handled by its own so-called T2 chip.

Apple introduced new iPhones and Apple Watches last month, but the older product lines accounted for $45 billion in sales in the most recent fiscal quarter. In comparison, iPhones brought in revenue of $141.3 billion.

“They really wanted to show the world they haven’t forgotten about the iPad and the Mac,” said Mika Kitagawa, a senior principal research analyst at Gartner.

Some of the recent dip in Mac sales can be explained by timing. Apple had waited until July to release new Macs, instead of June as in previous years.

And Mac sales growth has outpaced the PC market, while the iPad has been the most successful tablet in a market that turned out to be smaller than Apple hoped when it released the device in 2010.

Microsoft’s Surface line offers a hybrid between a tablet and laptop that runs Microsoft’s full Windows operating system. The iPad Pro runs the same operating system as iPhones.

The iPad Pro models have a USB-C port that allows them to work with an external monitor for the first time. When combined with the existing ability for an iPad Pro to work with a keyboard, the new port brings the devices closer to becoming a laptop competitor, Milanesi said.

“When people are looking at using this as their main computing device, that’s where you might seem the move toward the 12.9-inch” iPad Pro, she said.

Reporting by Stephen Nellis; Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Meredith Mazzilli

Tired of Filter Bubbles? This Free News App Can Help You Find Stories You Just Might Love

Occasionally I take a quick look at where the traffic to my articles comes from. (“Quick” since content ultimately get broad play because people like and share it; if you’re in the content business, any time you spend on doing deep analytics dives that could be better spent creating great content.) 

My usual traffic sources are LinkedIn, Google, and to a lesser extent, Flipboard.  But then I saw a decent amount of traffic coming from SmartNews.

If you aren’t familiar, SmartNews is a free news app that delivers stories from hundreds of publishers (including Inc.) that makes it easy to discover new topics and media sites. SmartNews has over 10 million active users and over 30 million downloads per month in the United States and Japan. And it won Apple’s “Best of 2013” award and Google’s “Best App of the Year.”

Since I like talking to people behind the products and services I like, I spoke with Rich Jaroslovsky, the VP of Content and Chief Journalist for SmartNews. Rich, a former Bloomberg and Wall Street Journal reporter and the founder of, joined SmartNews during its U.S. launch four years ago.

And why is Rich’s title “Chief Journalist” instead of “Editor in Chief”? Let’s find out.

SmartNews takes a different approach to content curation than I expected.

When I met the co-founders, Ken Suzuki and Kaisei Hamamoto, they showed me a prototype of the U.S. app. I immediately liked it, but I told them the next version should be web-based and highly-personalized.

Kaisei said, “We already built that,” and showed me a product they called ‘Crow’s Nest.’ It was highly personalized, highly customizable, had won tech awards in Japan, won a TechCrunch award… but when he and Ken brought it to SXSW to show it off, it was “a complete failure.” It was seen as just one of a number of similar desktop applications.

On the way back to Japan they concluded that while the technology was fabulous… the product decisions they had made were wrong.

So they set out to do the opposite.

People love to talk about pivoting, but that’s a hard pivot to make.

But it turned out to be a really smart one. They made the app completely and natively mobile. And instead of building something designed to appeal to an audience of one through extreme personalization, they built something of interest to a broad audience.

Also keep in mind that much of the Tokyo population rides the subway every day, and at that time the subway didn’t have Internet connectivity. So they also included features that would allow people to consume content without needing an Internet signal. 

The resulting app turned out to be a huge success. It was basically a case of combining great underling technology with smart product decisions — decisions they arrived at because their first set of product decisions fell flat.

In short, it was a classic Silicon Valley pivot — but in the Japan of five or six years ago, the concept of acknowledging mistakes and starting over… that pivot took some guts.

Another classic Silicon Valley move was introducing a product to a local market while ensuring the underlying technology was scalable.

From the very beginning, Kaisei and Ken wanted to not just build a Japanese company and a product but a global company and product. The model and technology we use is highly scalable and transferable from market to market.

At a basic level, we analyze about 10 million pieces of content every day and look for a number of different signals. We look at how widely and rapidly an article is being shared. We use machine learning to analyze and classify the content. We rank stories for importance and interest. The underlying technology is incredibly complex.

But that technology is only one piece of the puzzle. Our model is also extraordinarily publisher friendly. It’s in our DNA to be supportive of publishers. That’s why our incentives are very closely aligned with publishers. I spend a lot of time talking to publishers, explaining the model, figuring out ways we can work with them and they can work with us… 

And we’re constantly working with our engineers to refine the algorithms to make the app journalistically smarter. 

Which is why you’re not “Editor in Chief”?

When I first joined the company they said I would be “VP for Content and Chief Journalist.”  I said, “In the U.S., chief journalist is not a common title. Editor in chief is more common. They said, “If you want to be Editor in Chief, that’s fine, but Chief Journalist doesn’t imply that you’re editing; it implies you’re making news selections on a day-to-day basis, and our goal is to make the algorithm smart enough that we don’t have to be editors in that sense.”

I realized they are right. We’re not editing. We’re finding ways our users can more easily discover news and content they enjoy.

Coming from such a strong journalism background, why was the idea of aggregation so appealing to you? 

I’ve been around tech and online news for a long time. I started in the ’90s. 

So the first time I saw the app, I got it immediately. The product itself was terrific.

I also believe that as traffic moved increasingly from desktop to mobile, aggregation was the winning model.

In a desktop environment, it’s easy to go from website to website. On a mobile device, unless you have an incredibly strong brand where people will go to the trouble of installing your individual app, from a publisher’s standpoint it’s very hard to attract a mobile audience. People won’t launch 10 different news app to get news from 10 different sources.

That’s why aggregation seemed like such a powerful model, a hunch has proved to be correct. Since we had a thriving and successful business in Japan we had the luxury of being pretty quiet in the U.S. for a couple of years while we refined the product, determined how the market was both the same and different… and so it’s only been in the last year or so that we’ve really started to hit the gas.

Our growth is now up 200 percent year over year in the US. The Japanese market is still bigger, but the U.S. market is growing faster. We have over 300 publisher partners in the US, and I hear from many of them that SmartNews has become one of their top sources for mobile traffic. 

As a content creator I appreciate the way the app works. Unlike many news sites, when I tap a thumbnail or headline, that takes me to the publisher’s mobile site. The content isn’t native on SmartNews.

We’re Japanese. We’re very polite. (Laughs.) We like to think we’re good partners.

So you’re right: Users go to the publisher’s mobile site and the publisher gets a direct hit on their site. And if the user taps again they can summon up smart view, an instant-loading format version of the content, sort of like “reader mode” in Safari. And it works even if there’s no Internet signal. 

So how do you make money?

When I talk to publishers, my slide titled “Revenue Share” says, “You: 100 percent. SmartNews: 0 percent.”

Publishers like that slide a lot. (Laughs.)

Our model does not depend on taking a cut of that revenue. Publishers that partner with us not only get the web traffic in the first instance, but if users do slide over to smart view, the publishers can also run their own ad in the space and don’t have to share that revenue with us.

We make money on the advertising that appears not on individual publisher stories but within preset subject channels. Those aggregated channels have inline advertising, and that’s where the lion’s share of our revenue comes from.

Which means your main incentive is to create satisfied, long-term users. And yet you don’t do that through heavy personalization, which conventional wisdom would say is the way to go.

Instead of building a product for an audience for one, we built a product of mass appeal.

We are very judicious and conservative about how we use personalization within the app. We emphasize personalized discovery, not just serving our users content they already have expressed interest, in or already know about.

We’re trying to introduce the concept of presenting stories you might be interested in.

Here’s a recent example. A story on our top channel was actually a story from Australia about efforts to preserve Tasmanian devils. There is not a personalization engine in the universe that would ever predict I would be interested in a story about saving Tasmanian devils. (Laughs.)

But I read every word of that story.

I would have, too. Who can resist a Tasmanian devil story?

The algorithm said, “A lot of different people are finding this to be interesting, so we’ll elevate that.”

The key is personalized discovery. Of course that also means sometimes users will see stories they don’t like. I’m generalizing, but a conservative might see a Mother Jones story, or a liberal might see something from Fox News.

That’s probably the biggest complaint we get: That the stories are all “left wing,” or “right wing.”  But when we look at studies about user engagement in news apps, our audience is far more engaged than that of any other news app.

My argument is that those are two sides of the same coin. As a 40-year journalist, when all you see is stuff you already know or already think you’re interested in… news gets boring. There’s no serendipity. You don’t get to learn anything new. You don’t get to discover.

That’s the textbook definition of a filter bubble.

Our goal is to puncture filter bubbles.

Does that mean you’ll occasionally see something you aren’t interested in? Sure. But if you look at how engaged our audience is, and how much news they consume, I think it’s a reflection of the power of the personalized discovery. 

All of which makes you a machine learning company, not a news company. Similar to when I talked with a Domino’s exec who said, “We’re not a pizza company. We’re a delivery company.”

You’re right. If you ask what SmartNews is, we’re not a news company, we’re a machine learning company. Personalized discovery is the product. 

The people here are incredibly smart. I genuinely feel like I’m working with rocket scientists. And their brains are so big, they have all this bandwidth to devote to other cool things.

Me? I’m just an ink-stained wretch. (Laughs.)

So: U.S. growth is rapid. What’s next?

The Japanese business is doing great. The trajectory in the U.S. is on a definite upward path.

Again, the great thing about our approach is that it’s scalable; we can replicate it in markets all around the world. So far we’ve focused on U.S. and Japan, and at some point I anticipate we will create additional national market products for specific major markets.

We have publishers clamoring for us to come into their markets because they see we can drive traffic. Every week I get two or three publisher inquiries from India alone.

We already have a number of partners that are non-U.S. based, like the BBC, South China Morning Post, Reuters, DW (Deutsche Welle) in Germany… so when we’re ready to move into those markets, that will certainly help.

We’ve established our bona fides and have established a model that we can show works for users and for publishers. 

Then why not take another page out of the Silicon Valley playbook and rapidly expand?

We prefer the slow runway approach. I love the idea of global domination and I’m not apologetic about it. (Laughs.)

But on the other hand, in a startup environment you must have a sense of discipline. Even though part of you is saying, “Come on, let’s go…” you also have make sure you have this working well before you move to that.

And that’s what we’ve done. For a company like SmartNews, there probably was no tougher market outside Japan to crack than the U.S. market. So we took on the toughest task first — and maintained our focus on that challenge.

Now, in the U.S., we have more than 300 partners. Go to the channel directory on the app and look at the list. There are some pretty great names. And the list of new channels constantly grows as we bring in new partners.

Besides the technology and the model, that’s our other secret weapon: Our fantastic roster of partners. 

If we can establish ourselves in the U.S., given how tough the environment is with all the travails of the U.S. media industry and all the competition… if we can establish ourselves here, we can do it anywhere. 

Which will let us work, slowly but surely, on doing it everywhere.

7 Simple Ways to Check Your Bias and Make Better Business Decisions

Everyone has conscious and unconscious biases. It doesn’t necessarily mean we’re prejudiced — biases are simply the way we view the world and the people around us based on our background, upbringing, culture and self-identity. 

The existence of bias isn’t inherently bad, but it can become a problem when we allow personal beliefs and preferences to creep into objective decision-making processes. As a founder, it’s essential to become aware of your own biases and actively work to set them aside when you’re making business decisions. Below, seven entrepreneurs explain how to do just that.

Ask people you trust to weigh in.

Founders are used to being the ones with the final say, but that doesn’t mean you should be the only one involved in the decision. Ben Landis, CEO of Fanbase, recommends surrounding yourself with a group of trusted colleagues and advisors who can give you a gut check.

“When it comes time to make a big decision, I run my thoughts by those around me who I trust most,” he says. “They know why I am coming to them and will play devil’s advocate to help me see all sides.”

Wait 24 hours before making a decision.

Making impulsive, emotional decisions is the easiest way to let your biases get the best of you. That’s why Mauricio Cardenal, founder of Roofing Marketing Pros, always waits a full day before making any important decisions.

“One thing that can help me make a rational choice is to wait 24 hours and create a list of pros and cons,” says Cardenal. “When I wait, I know my choice will be less based on emotion.” 

Recruit a diverse team.

Thursday Bram of The Responsible Communication Style Guide knows how powerful a diverse team can be. “The only way to understand our own biases is to talk to people with different experiences,” she explains. 

Talking to people with local knowledge helped her tremendously when she moved from the Midwest to the East Coast. “When I first moved, I didn’t have the basic knowledge of what running a local event would require,” says Bram. “The difference between the need for public transit access (and the reduced need for parking) was earth-shattering, and something I wouldn’t have known without a diverse team.”

Step back and look at the bigger picture.

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day aspects of running your business, according to Joey Kercher, president of Air Fresh Marketing. However, founders need to get away from being “in” the business and take a 10,000-foot view to really see things clearly.

“Give yourself space for at least 30 minutes each day to think high-level,” Kercher recommends. “Establishing a clear vision of what you are trying to do and accomplish is critical, as is outlining the small steps required to get there.” 

Rely on data.

Data can be your best friend when it comes to unbiased decision-making. As Baruch Labunski of Rank Secure notes, “you can’t argue with the numbers.”

“Whether you’re reviewing an employee’s performance or the business overall, you have to remove your emotional bias from your view and look at the cold, hard facts,” Labunski says. “Understanding how your bias might impact you is a good step to ensure you’re looking objectively at the current picture of your business.”

Consider the benefits of the opposite choice.

When faced with a decision, you probably have a gut reaction telling you which choice you want to make. Adelaida Sofia Diaz-Roa, COO of Nomo FOMO, says it’s important to consider all sides and perspectives of potential actions or decisions — even if you have to Google why doing the opposite of your intended decision would be a good choice.

“It not only helps you feel more sure of your decision if someone questions it, but it helps you notice if there is something that you might have missed because of an unconscious bias,” adds Diaz-Roa.

Remove yourself from the equation.

Whenever Karlo Tanjuakio of is faced with a tough decision, he finds it’s best to remove himself from the situation. 

“Being impartial is tough. Emotions generally run high when you’re making decisions on things you’re passionate about. I think about what’s best for the business and its growth — not what’s best for me personally,” he says. “When the business wins, everyone wins.”

China’s Private Attempt to Send a Satellite-Carrying Rocket Into Space Fails

China’s first try at sending a privately developed rocket that could carry a satellite into space failed during a launch Saturday.

The first and second stage of the Zhuque-1 rocket operated as it should have, according to Beijing-based Landspace, which developed the spacecraft. But the rocket ultimately didn’t reach orbit after something went wrong with the third stage, Reuters reports.

Landspace posted to its Weibo social media account, saying that “cowling separation was normal but something abnormal happened after the second stage,” though it did not elaborate further on the subject, according to Reuters and the Associated Press. The statement did say building such rockets is “the right decision for the company.”

The satellite involved in the launch was being carried for state media China Central Television (CCTV), according to Chinese media reports cited by Reuters and the AP.

Another Beijing-based private firm, OneSpace Technology, successfully launched a smaller rocket, the “Chongqing Liangjiang Star,” into space in May.

Spend Hours Watching Hagerty's Engine Rebuild Time-Lapses

Warning: You are about to lose a significant chunk of your day to YouTube, and you’ll be joining over 30 million other people who’ve spent a collective 192 years watching the same thing. Whether you’re a car fan or not, there’s something mesmerizing about seeing an engine disassembled, and then put back together, but better.

If you already know all about engines, then Hagerty’s Redline Rebuilds series is a chance to test your knowledge, and empathize when overhauls don’t go as planned. If you couldn’t care less about your car’s power plant, then these videos will likely convert you. And the best thing is they’re time-lapses, so you can watch the whole process in under 10 minutes, and then click on to the next one, and the next.

Hagerty, which sells insurance for classic vehicles, got into this particular video business somewhat fortuitously. “Our YouTube had maybe had 15,000 subscribers. It wasn’t a main focus for us,” says Ben Woodworth, Hagerty’s video boss. Then, in 2015, they got their hands on a three-axis motion time-lapse camera. Woodworth had been nerding out on some national park time-lapse videos, and wanted to make something equivalent. An engine tear down seemed perfect, following the incremental progression from grungy and grimy to glistening and gleaming.

Their first effort was a rebuild of a Chevy small block V8 engine, marking the engine’s 60th birthday. In a few weeks, it has racked up 1.5 million views. And Woodworth realized they had to make more. They’re now into a second series of the videos, with some spin-offs too.

That first video took about three weeks to make. “You’ve got to slow down, talk through things, like remove the dipstick tube slowly shot by shot,” says Jordan Lewis, video production specialist. That was a breeze compared to the time the team spent rebuilding the classic Chrysler Hemi FirePower V8: nine months, two of them spent sourcing rare parts like pistons.

“I was on the hunt for anything odd,” says Davin Reckow, the guy with the awesome job of actually breaking down, refurbishing, and rebuilding the engines. “A friend of mine shot me a Craigslist ad for a ‘55 Chrysler New Yorker, deep in some woods, which looked like it had been parked since ’68.” He had to cut down a few trees to pull it out of the dirt.

“The engine was dirty as hell, you can see him blowing nuts and acorns off it,” says Lewis.

The Chrysler project obliterated the team’s thinking that they’d stumbled onto an easy formula for cranking out viral content. “I think the dirty secret is there’s an impression that I’m some mastermind, and know all these devices by heart” says Reckow.

The truth is messier, as anyone who has restored a vintage car will know. The team often pauses filming so Reckow can check the manual or fix a mistake. And when they figured viewers might enjoy seeing that part too, they started making longer cuts of the videos (over an hour sometimes), with a Mystery Science Theatre 3000 style commentary and behind the scenes details. Reckow and Woodworth chat through the challenges, and answer some of the questions left out of the original sped-up video, which necessarily skips over some details.

Hagerty has produced 18 videos so far, with more to come. They show just how insanely complicated a car engine is, and they’re not even the very latest, computer-laded, power plants. If the car companies are true to their word, engines won’t be around for much longer. They’ll be replaced by batteries and motors, so enjoy these while you can. The team has a board up in the workshop with potential and dream projects. The next one, Reckow teases, will have “hemi levels of struggle.” Hopefully the result will be just as gripping to watch.

More Great WIRED Stories

Best Weekend Tech Deals: Outdoor, Phones, and More

October is nearing its end, and that means it’s about time to purposefully embarrass ourselves. Whether you’re frantically preparing to win Halloween, stitching together a meme-inspired costume, or streaming some scary movies, you probably have very important plans this weekend. But deals stop for no holiday. Below, we’ve highlighted more than a dozen deals we like on indoor and outdoor gear.

Mobile Deals

Outdoor Gear Deals

  • Hydro Flask 32-oz Tumbler for $20 (was $40). There’s no real reason to keep sipping coffee out of terrible to-go cups with plastic lids. These are vacuum-insulated, good for hot or cold beverages, and feel great in your hand. Stay hydrated!

  • Arc’teryx Beta AR Jacket for $287 (Was $575). Arc’teryx apparel isn’t cheap, but you get what you pay for. This is a durable, light, and versatile jacket, especially for damp, chilly, and variable conditions, like you’d find in the Pacific Northwest. The jacket has a water-repellent finish on a Gore-Tex three-layer fabric with taped seams. As a super-premium climbing line, the cut of Arc’teryx’s jackets give you lots of freedom of movement, and they look great, too.

  • Men’s Gravity Pants for $63 (Was $89). It’s sweatpants season! There’s a lot of great Prana gear on sale for both men and women right now at REI, so it’s worth a click-through if you need to improve your climbing skills or grow your yoga practice.

  • North Face Denali Jacket for $107 (Was $179). Do you know a college student? Were you ever a college student? You probably need a Denali jacket. The women’s version is on sale too.

  • Oiselle Lesko Bra for $25 (Was $50). Oiselle is a cult-favorite women’s running line. The Lesko bra is a compression bra for high-impact sports, like running, but it has nice details like removable pads and silk-screened birds!

  • Garmin Fenix 3 for $420 (Was $600) This is the rugged, long-lived, GPS/GLONASS-enabled watch the US Navy gives to all its pilots. If it can get frostbitten, hypoxic crew members home, it will probably work for you, too.

Indoor Gear Deals

  • Walmart Fall Clearance Sale. There isn’t a ton of spectacular tech up for sale, but Walmart does have a lot of extra items up for clearance right now. Peruse at your leisure!

  • Vizio P-Series 65-Inch 4K TV for $1,100 (Was $1,300). WIRED Recommends. Vizio’s P Series has one of the best-looking TV screens you’ll find and at a much lower price than many of its peers. Comparable 65-inch TVs from Sony and Samsung cost much more.

  • Xbox One Wireless Controller + a Cable for PC Use for $40 (Was $60). $40 is a great price for an Xbox One wireless controller, and this one comes with a USB cable to make it easier to play on a Windows 10 PC. If you’re controller hunting, you won’t find much cheaper than this one.

  • Read Dead Redemption 2 for ($60). Also available for Xbox One. The second Red Dead game is killing it with critics so far. GameStop doesn’t have a true discount, but if you’re part of its PowerUp Rewards program and order by November 1, it will give you $10 in rewards cash.

  • Dell Vostro 14-Inch Laptop for $649 (Was $1,127). This Windows 10 Pro laptop has an Intel Core i5 (8th Gen) CPU, Intel 620 GPU, 8 gigs of DDR4 RAM, a 256-gigabyte SSD storage, a 1080p screen, and comes with some amenities like an SD card reader, two full size USB ports, one USB-C port, an HDMI port, and an audio jack for your headphones. It makes a great work machine.

  • LG Tone Pro Wireless Earbuds for $40 (Was $65). LG’s tone earbuds aren’t the sexiest wireless ‘buds around, but they get the job done and sit nicely around your neck. These get about 10 hours of juice per charge, sound decent, and the buds magnetically attach onto the ends when you aren’t listening.

When you buy something using the retail links in our stories, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Read more about how this works.

Charter signs up more internet subscribers in third quarter

FILE PHOTO – A Charter Communications company service van is pictured in Pasadena, California U.S., January 26, 2017. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

(Reuters) – Charter Communications Inc said it added more internet subscribers than Wall Street had expected in the third quarter, offsetting a drop in video subscribers that was also less severe than expected.

The company added 266,000 residential internet customers in the third quarter, above the consensus estimate of 234,000, according to research firm FactSet.

Net income attributable to shareholders was $493 million, or $2.11 cents per share, in the quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with $48 million, or 19 cents per share, a year earlier.

Total revenue rose 4.1 percent to $10.89 billion from $10.46 billion. Analysts had expected the company to report revenue of $10.94 billion, according to Refinitiv data.

Reporting by Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

Nokia kicks off new cost-cutting plan after profit drop

HELSINKI (Reuters) – Telecom network equipment maker Nokia announced a new cost-cutting program on Thursday after reporting another drop in quarterly profits as the industry waits operators’ demand for next-generation 5G networks to pick up pace.

The Nokia logo is seen at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, February 28, 2018. REUTERS/Sergio Perez/File Photo

The Finnish company, rival to Sweden’s Ericsson and China’s Huawei [HWT.UL], said it was targeting annual cost savings of 700 million euros by the end of 2020, without elaborating on the scale of expected job reductions.

Nokia will this year complete a 1.2 billion euro cost-saving program launched after its 2016 acquisition of Franco-American Alcatel-Lucent.

Nokia’s operating profit in the third quarter fell 27 percent from a year ago to 487 million euros ($555 million), broadly in line with analysts’ mean forecast in a Reuters poll of 492 million euros.

However, the networks business recovered somewhat from the first half of the year and Nokia reaffirmed its outlook for the full year, saying networks would deliver an operating margin of 6-9 percent.

“Despite some risks related to short-term delays in project timing and product deliveries, we remain on track to deliver on our full-year guidance,” Chief Executive Rajeev Suri said in a statement.

The networks industry has struggled with flagging growth for years since demand for 4G equipment peaked.

Reporting by Jussi Rosendahl and Anne Kauranen, editing by Terje Solsvik and Neil Fullick

What It's Like to Fly the WWII-Era Plane That Crashed on LA's 101 Freeway

Watching the flames devour the wing of a World War II-era aircraft that crash-landed on the 101 Freeway in Los Angeles, a few questions come to mind. How did the pilot escape unharmed? How’d he manage not to whack any cars as he came down around 2 pm on Tuesday? Why was the plane, a T-6 Texan, dressed up like a German fighter aircraft (sans swastikas)? And, most pressing of all, what is anybody doing flying a 70-year-old plane over northwest LA?

That last one, at least, is easy enough to answer.

“The T-6, out of all the airplanes I’ve flown, is one of my favorite aircraft to fly. It’s a beautifully handling aircraft, it’s extremely well built, very powerful, and it’s just a lot of fun,” says Dave Whitcomb, a professional pilot who has logged about 500 hours in the T-6 while working with a group called History Flight, which takes members of the public out flying in old-timey planes.

The crashed plane, a North American T-6 Texan, currently belongs to Condor Squadron, KTLA reports. (The Van Nuys-based non-profit’s pilots fly the vintage aircraft for parades and other events, according to its website.) In its previous life, the aircraft saw some combat during World War II and the Korean War, but mostly served as a trainer for pilots preparing to climb into the cockpits of Mustangs and Corsairs. Like a driver’s ed car, the two tandem seats each have a full set of controls. Forty-two feet from wingtip to wingtip, the plane can hit 205 mph at 5,000 feet, thanks to its single engine.

The joy of flying a vintage aircraft is similar to that of driving an old race car, Whitcomb says. Without any of the automated systems that pilots now spend most of their time monitoring, operating the T-6 requires constant adjustments to the stick in your right hand, the throttle and propeller controls in your left.

“You’re always flying the airplane,” he says. “In a smaller aircraft like that, it feels like it’s a part of you. Whereas big heavy jets today, you’re not manipulating the controls as much, because they’re so stable.”

Throw in the joy of reliving history, and it’s easy to see why you’d want to climb into the T-6’s cockpit, slide open the canopy, and slide through the air like the pilots of old.

Most of the folks flying T-6’s today are very experienced, Whitcomb says, largely because insurance companies aren’t in the business of covering rookies who want to zip about in a relatively rare and expensive plane. (Someone in Italy’s selling one for $28,735.) Most of the aircraft now have GPS navigation systems; they all have modern radios.

And while the T-6 is generally reliable, it only has a single engine, meanings that if that one craps out, you’re gonna make like Icarus. (This is why Whitcomb avoided flying the T-6 over large bodies of water or unlandable terrain.) That’s where the experience comes in. When an engine failure turns your plane into a glider, it’s time to look for a long, smooth landing surface—like the 101— steadily drop altitude, float down gradually, and hope everybody in their 21st century car can get out of the way.

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