Category: Business analyst

‘Virtual marathons’ see a spike as runners crave a fix and organizers fight to keep them engaged

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Over the next two weeks, some 25,000 runners will line up to run the New York City Marathon—hearing Sinatra croon “New York, New York” before the boom of the cannon and listening to the race director’s final instructions that herald the start of the 26.2 mile race—as they have for almost every year since 1976.

But in 2020, the year of COVID, these runners will be scattered all over the world, running separately at a time of their choosing within a two-week window ending Nov. 1, instead of being gathered at the foot of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge on Staten Island. They will be connected via an app, supported by TCS (Tata Consultancy Services) and available as of Saturday. The app uses augmented reality and tracks runners, feeding … Read the rest

The Brexit trade negotiations aren’t dead yet, but they’re not far from it

It’s time to prepare for a no-trade-deal Brexit, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Friday, just hours after the country’s biggest grocer warned of potential food shortages if there is disruption after the Brexit transition period ends.

Johnson’s announcement heralds a final showdown between the U.K. and the European Union over the question of whether the two sides can strike a free-trade agreement that can be in place by January 1. It comes the day after the prime minister’s self-imposed deadline for reaching a deal—that has definitely not yet been reached.

In a statement, Johnson said the U.K. had always wanted a loose relationship, along the lines of the EU’s trade deal with Canada, but the EU wouldn’t play ball. Indeed, on Thursday the EU’s national leaders indicated they wouldn’t budge on key demands about fishing rights and the U.K. continuing to stick to EU rules on things like state … Read the rest

A fine kettle: How fishing became the issue that could sink a post-Brexit U.K.-EU trade deal

Fishing rights have emerged as a major sticking point in negotiations between the European Union and United Kingdom over a post-Brexit trade deal.

Last week, David Frost, the chief U.K. trade negotiator, told the British Parliament that fishing was perhaps the biggest impediment remaining to an agreement after the U.K. signaled it was prepared to give ground on the issue of state support for businesses, which had been another major stumbling block.

Boris Johnson, the British prime minister, has threatened to quit the trade negotiations completely if a deal is not in sight at a crucial EU Brexit summit taking place in Brussels today.

The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, for his part, has tried to urge European politicians, particularly in France and Belgium, to moderate their demands for access to British waters after the end of the Brexit transition period on January 1.

But so far, Barnier’s … Read the rest

Craft brewers upend their business models in fight to stay alive

While the days of explosive growth were already behind the craft beer industry when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, small independent brewers were still increasing their numbers each year—and there was no sign that any major reversal was on the way. Yet by spring, the numbers could be devastating.

Despite those many Zoom happy hours and tales of day drinking as you work from home, total beer sales haven’t changed much year to date, says Bart Watson, chief economist for The Brewer’s Association. And small breweries have had to pivot their business models to stay in business, as taprooms shut down, and restaurant draft business dried up.

Many have increased their production capacity to sell to-go beer. A limited number have been able to do direct shipping to customers. The looming cloud on the horizon, though, is that demand is about to dip.

“COVID really hit during the best period … Read the rest

‘Hi, Speed:’ Apple walks the tightrope of embracing 5G

A few hours after this newsletter hits your in-box, Apple will host an online product event at which it is widely expected to unveil the 20th iteration of its iconic smartphone.

The tech giant announced the event last week on its website. Apple executives, ever the masters of savvy marketing, won’t reveal what they plan to unveil. But a steady drip of leaks and supplier reports have stoked anticipation among Apple fans and industry analysts.

If the rumor mill is right, Apple will introduce a new generation of iPhones that includes four new versions, with faster processing chips, a boxier design, larger and smaller size options than those offered for the iPhone 11, and jazzy new colors options.

But what’s grabbing the biggest headlines is speculation that the new iPhone will come equipped with 5G—fifth generation wireless technology that, at least in theory, will operate at speeds of ten or Read the rest