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Boston’s QuEra Computing opens

The quantum computer developed by QuEra Computing of Boston.QuEra Computing Inc


Boston’s QuEra opens

Boston-based QuEra Computing says its cloud-based quantum computer service is now open for business. Based on technology developed at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and funded by Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten, QuEra last year announced one of the biggest quantum computers yet developed. But rather than sell the machines, it’s teamed up with Amazon’s AWS cloud service to sell online access to the device. It can be used by universities and corporate researchers worldwide for a variety of advanced tasks, like simulating the behavior of subatomic particles or developing new chemical compounds. QuEra chief executive Alex Keesling said that customers will pay around $150 per hour to use the machine. Like the old-fashioned mainframe computers of a half-century ago, the QuEra machine can handle just one job at a time, so each user will have to wait his turn. But thanks to Amazon’s cloud computing service, Keesling said, at least they can wait at home. — HIAWATHA BRAY



Package stores run ad supporting Question 3

The Massachusetts Package Stores Association has launched its own TV ad to counteract one by rival superstore chain Total Wine & More in the battle over Question 3, the ballot question going before voters next Tuesday that would set new limits on how many retail locations under common ownership can sell alcohol. This ad, running on a number of cable TV stations through Comcast, aims to make it clear that Question 3 is supported by the small-business members of MassPack. It’s a response to ads by Total Wine that imply Question 3 is not friendly to small business, including by saying it would hurt family-owned businesses. (Total Wine is owned by two brothers, and thus technically a family business, but has more than 200 locations across the country.) Question 3 would increase the number of locations where one company can sell beer and wine to 18 from the current level of nine, while reducing the number of locations where a company can sell hard alcohol to seven from nine. MassPack put forth the measure as a compromise to food retailers that want the ability to sell beer and wine in more places. Total Wine, however, views it as a restraint of free trade. The Maryland company has spent more than $2.6 million this fall to fight Question 3, while MassPack has spent nearly $1 million during the past two years on the campaign. — JON CHESTO



New executive at Suffolk Downs simulcast facility

There’s a new boss at Sterling Suffolk Racecourse, the operator of the simulcast facility at Suffolk Downs. Michael Buckley will be SSR’s new chief operating officer, taking over for Chip Tuttle. Buckley is a principal at Belmont Capital, the investment firm run by Joe O’Donnell and one of three SSR shareholders. Tuttle will resume full-time status at CTP, the Boston communications agency that he co-owns, after 15 years as chief operating officer at Suffolk Downs, including during the final years of thoroughbred racing at Suffolk Downs. The former track is being redeveloped, and SSR hopes to eventually open a new facility that offers sports betting. Buckley, in a statement, said he plans to lead SSR into “its next phase as a premier sports wagering company in Massachusetts.” About 50 full- and part-time staffers work for SSR today. — JON CHESTO

The New York Times building on 8th Avenue in Manhattan, Feb. 8, 2020. JEENAH MOON/NYT


NYT added 180,000 digital subscribers in latest quarter

The New York Times Co. said on Wednesday that it had gained 180,000 online subscribers in the most recent quarter, and that it was improving its revenue forecast for the full year. In financial results for the latest quarter, the company said the revenue from those new subscribers made up for the higher operating costs from The Athletic, the sports news website that The Times bought in January. Overall, the Times recorded an adjusted operating profit of $69 million for the quarter, up from $65 million in the same period last year. The Athletic had operating losses of $9.6 million. It has lost nearly $29 million in the three quarters since it was acquired. — NEW YORK TIMES



Glencore officials allegedly flew cash in private jets to officials in West Africa

Glencore officials delivered cash in private jets to officials in West Africa, UK prosecutors said as they laid out a web of bribery and corruption orchestrated by the London oil trading desk. The company, founded by Marc Rich, admitted to seven counts of bribery across countries including Nigeria and Cameroon, following a Serious Fraud Office investigation. Prosecutors said the company paid more than $28 million in bribes to secure access to oil cargoes. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


GSK buoyed by sales of vaccines

GSK raised its outlook for a second time and expressed optimism about next year, buoyed by demand for existing vaccines and a newcomer for a common respiratory virus. Operating profit excluding some costs could rise as much as 17 percent and sales growth may be as high as 10 percent this year, the UK drug maker said Wednesday, up from prior expectations of 15 percent and 8 percent. The upgrade comes as the maker of the blockbuster shingles vaccine Shingrix submits its new shot, designed to protect against respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, to regulators. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


American Airlines passenger jets prepare for departure, Wednesday, July 21, 2021, near a terminal at Boston Logan International Airport, in Boston. Steven Senne/Associated Press


FAA gets an earful from squished coach passengers

Back in August, Federal Aviation Administration officials asked the public for their views on how safe they thought airline seats were when it came to their size. Fed up with being crammed in alongside other unhappy customers, passengers flooded the agency with nearly 25,000 comments by the deadline on Tuesday. While many stuck to the FAA’s request to address whether the seat width, length, pitch, and other dimensions were a direct threat to travelers’ safety in the event of an emergency evacuation, many also took the opportunity to slam comfort levels in typical economy cabins. Congress ordered the agency in 2018 to issue rules for minimum dimensions of passenger seats with regard to safety. A 2021 agency study determined that current seat sizes would be safe during an evacuation for 99 percent of the population. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Tesla closes showroom in Beijing

Tesla shut its flagship China showroom in Beijing last month, according to a person familiar with the matter. The US electric carmaker has a number of showrooms in China’s capital, and the one now shuttered was in a shopping center called Parkview Green, a mainly residential area. Reuters reported the closure earlier Wednesday. Tesla largely sells its cars via a direct sales model over the Internet rather than through dealerships or its own showrooms. China is its most important market after the United States and it delivered a record 83,135 cars in September after upgrading production capacity at its Shanghai factory. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Credit Suisse stock downgraded to near-junk level

Credit Suisse’s long-term rating was downgraded by S&P Global Ratings to just one level above junk status, underscoring the bank’s challenges after it laid out a radical restructuring plan last week. The Swiss bank’s long-term rating was cut to BBB- from BBB, with a stable outlook. That’s just one notch above the BB “speculative grade.” Credit Suisse’s new strategy triggered the biggest single-day decline on record on the day, with shares tumbling 18 percent. — BLOOMBERG NEWS