Monthly Archives: November 2017

Baseballs Are Getting Smarter

Robo-balls give pitchers and coaches an instant readout on a ball’s speed and rotation

ILLUSTRATION: MACIEJ FROLOW

By
Takashi Mochizuki

TOKYO—It looks and feels like a regular baseball. But the inside is packed with the same technology used in smartphones, which gives pitchers and coaches an instant readout on the ball’s speed and rotation.

If you thought the diamond was already drenched in data, get ready for the robo-balls coming out of Japan.

Tokyo-based smartphone app maker Acrodea Inc. started selling its “Technical Pitch” ball in September in Japan. And sporting goods maker Mizuno Corp., with help from a Toyota Motor Corp. group company, is preparing a similar product, called MAQ, for next spring. Both are going on sale in Japan first, with plans to expand later to other regions including the U.S., South Korea and Taiwan.

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Senators Support Rollback of Bank Oversight

Bipartisan deal raises threshold dictating which banks would face heightened oversight from the Federal Reserve

Sen. Michael Crapo, head of the Senate Banking Committee PHOTO: BILL CLARK/ZUMA PRESS By Andrew Ackerman

Dozens of banks received the biggest signal yet that they may soon be freed from some of the most onerous rules put in place after the financial crisis, as lawmakers from both parties agreed to a plan that would enact sweeping changes to current law.

The bipartisan Senate agreement released Monday would relieve small and regional lenders from a number of restrictions meant to limit the damage firms could cause to the economy in the event of another crisis.

In what would be the biggest step to ease the financial rule book since Republicans took control of Washington, the proposal could cut to 12 from 38 the number of banks subject to heightened Federal Reserve oversight by raising a key regulatory threshold to $250 billion in assets from $50 billion. The legislation also would ease red tape affecting credit unions and community banks, allowing them to lend more, supporters said.

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