National NewsTwitter assuages growth concerns for now as shares soar 35 pct
By Edwin Chan SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Twitter Inc halted a slowdown in user-growth in the second quarter with the help of product tweaks and services built around the summer's World Cup, assuaging concerns for now that the online messaging service had peaked. Twitter, which has battled to reverse a steady decline in its once-heady pace of growth, surpassed targets for virtually every metric Wall Street scrutinizes. Before Tuesday's after-hours surge, Twitter had lost about 40 percent of its market value since the start of 2014. "The expectations going in had become quite low," said Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia.
Facebook to shut down Gifts service in latest e-commerce shift
By Alexei Oreskovic SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook Inc will shut its 2-year-old Gifts shop on Aug. 12, as the world's largest social network tests other ways to let consumers buy products on its website. "We'll be using everything we learned from Gifts to explore new ways to help businesses and developers drive sales on the web, on mobile, and directly on Facebook," the company said in an emailed statement on Tuesday. Facebook Gifts opened in 2012 as a way for users to buy gifts such as socks and teddy bears.
Amazon says lower ebook prices benefit authors, publishers
(Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc, locked in a war with publisher Hachette Book Group over ebook prices, said its push for lower prices was good for authors, publishers and booksellers. Upset over its ebook prices, Amazon has delayed deliveries and cut discounts on some books published by Hachette, the fourth-largest U.S. book publisher, owned by France's Lagardere. In a blog post on the Amazon site authored by the "Amazon Books team", the ecommerce giant said e-books were very price sensitive. Amazon claims that pricing an e-book at $14.99 or $19.99 is too expensive and unjustifiable in most cases.
Applied Micro ships microserver chips in challenge to Intel
By Noel Randewich SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Applied Micro Circuits has begun shipping a new kind of low-power server chip that might challenge heavyweight Intel in cutting-edge data centers. The Sunnyvale, California, company disappointed Wall Street on Tuesday with first fiscal quarter revenue and second-quarter revenue outlook that missed expectations due to a declining legacy business, sending its shares 4 percent lower after hours. In the quarter that ended in June, Applied Micro Circuits recognized its first revenue from the chips - about a $1 million - and the company said it expects "meaningful" revenue from the chips in the quarters ending in December and March as shipments build.
BlackBerry buffs up security credentials with Secusmart deal
By Euan Rocha NEW YORK (Reuters) - BlackBerry Ltd is buying a privately held German firm that specializes in voice and data encryption, it said on Tuesday, in a bid to burnish its credentials with highly security-conscious clients like government ?agencies. The acquisition is the latest by the smartphone pioneer to build on niche areas in an attempt to reinvent itself under new Chief Executive John Chen and recover ground ceded to Apple Inc's iPhone and Samsung Electronics Co's Galaxy devices. "It is a really reassuring sign that BlackBerry is now less focused on firefighting and more focused on identifying and building for the long-term into enterprise services," said CCS Insight analyst Geoff Blaber. Still, BlackBerry shares fell 4 percent to $9.54 on Nasdaq and C$10.45 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
China regulator announces anti-monopoly probe of Microsoft
By Paul Carsten BEIJING (Reuters) - A Chinese regulator is conducting an anti-monopoly investigation into Microsoft Corp MSFT.O over its Windows operating system, in the latest of a growing number of competition probes that have unnerved Western firms in China. China's State Administration for Industry & Commerce (SAIC) is also investigating a Microsoft vice president and senior managers, and has made copies of the firm's financial statements and contracts, the agency said on its website on Tuesday. It said Microsoft, which has struggled to make inroads in China due to rampant piracy, has not fully disclosed information about Windows and its Office software suite. Microsoft is one of the biggest U.S. companies to fall under the eye of Chinese regulators as they ramp up their oversight in an apparent attempt to protect local companies and customers.
Billions of GI Bill funds go to for-profit schools
WASHINGTON (AP) — Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have flocked to for-profit colleges, including a troubled chain that is closing or selling its campuses amid a series of federal and state investigations.
How Tech Innovation Leads To Sustainable Solutions In Developing Nations
It seems as if the days of manually doing routine tasks such as shopping and health care are slowly fizzling into obsolescence. People in both developed and developing countries are reshaping their daily lives and interactions as digital technology becomes intertwined with their everyday activities.Interested in this trend, Accenture and...
Verizon's FiOS Xbox apps now let you watch 'The Walking Dead,' er, live
Twitter 2Q results soar, stock flies high
NEW YORK (AP) — The little blue bird is flying high. Stronger-than-expected financial results pushed Twitter's stock sharply higher on Tuesday after the short messaging service said its revenue more than doubled in the second quarter.
Top 10 YouTube Channels for Leaders
With over 6 billion hours of video and thousands of channels, YouTube has something for everyone -- even for those of us who want to become better leaders.Over the last year I've subscribed to a number of YouTube channels that have consistently helped me identify new trends, understand best practices, and spot high-impact opportunities.Here is...
Samsung's phone market share takes a bruising as Chinese rivals surge
Here is the memo Comcast sent to employees after the 'rep from hell' call went viral
It's now been two weeks since AOL executive and former Comcast subscriber Ryan Block published a recording of his insane dialogue with an overly persistent customer service representative, and we finally have the memo that the company sent out immediately afterward. "Recently, an unfavorable phone call into Comcast has been circulating on the Internet," the memo says. "If you receive a call from the media regarding this incident, please refer to the Media Inquiry Policy to transfer them to your local media contact." Comcast is committed to delivering outstanding service to each and every customer.
Awesome Kickstarter hit revolutionizes water balloon fights
A new, interesting product is taking Kickstarter by storm – Tinnuss Enterprises’ Bunch O Balloons, which has already raised well over $600,000 with 23 days left in the campaign, or more than 60 times its initial funding goal. The purpose of Bunch of Balloons is quite simple: allow kids to quickly fill up lots of balloons with water, so they can truly have fun instead of spending so much time filling them up with water. The Bunch O Balloons contraption has a hose attachment that’s linked to many tiny balloons which fill up with water almost simultaneously. Each Bunch O Balloons kit lets users fill up 37 balloons at the same time, and the ingenious tool will fill up to 100 water balloons in under
Hollywood joins forces with Kodak to keep movie film alive
After lobbying by directors including Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan, and JJ Abrams, movie studios are negotiating a deal with Kodak that would secure the company's ability to keep producing motion picture film. The Wall Street Journal reports that the agreement is likely to see studios commit to buying from Kodak in set quantities for upcoming years regardless of their plans to actually shoot movies in the format. Kodak is now the sole major provider of movie film following Fujifilm's exit from the market in 2013. The rise of professional digital cinema cameras from the likes of Arri and RED have hastened Kodak's predicament;
OkCupid experiment may violate FTC rules on deceptive practices
By Casey Sullivan (Reuters) - OkCupid’s disclosure that the popular dating website intentionally misled couples about their suitability could open it up to a U.S. Federal Trade Commission inquiry, according to lawyers and experts in consumer-protection law. On Monday, President Christian Rudder disclosed in a blog post that OKCupid had conducted experiments on its users, including a test to see whether its assessment of their matchability led to successful dating. "To test this, we took pairs of bad matches...and told them they were exceptionally good for each other," Rudder wrote. ...
Twitter flies on surprisingly strong numbers
Twitter shares shot higher by some 30 percent Tuesday after its quarterly report showed surprisingly strong revenue and user growth, despite a widening loss. "You would have liked to see them do a lot better than that on users."
Google now shows what you can do near your hotel
Now you have another way to circumvent Snapchat’s core privacy features
In theory, Snapchat users should not be able to save any of the shared photos and messages in the app, but there are some ways files can still be saved, defying Snapchat’s core feature. One such trick is Snapkeep, The Daily Dot reveals, an app that lets users open any shared content from Snapchat. Snapkeep looks similar to Snapchat, as it closely replicates its functionality. Users can log in with their Snapchat credentials, at which point they’ll be able to browse through anything that was shared with them without any time limits. Saving files is apparently a hassle-free procedure, and Snapkeep users will be able to bring up pictures without alerting the other party in a SnapChat. While the app
Facebook is killing its Gifts service, still wants you to buy stuff
Why it's so hard to survive Comic-Con
More than 20 million people watched the most lucrative video game tournament ever
The International 2014 already had the largest prize pool ever seen in e-sports, but now it can boast one of the largest audiences too. The Dota 2 tournament, the fourth such annual event organized by the game's developer, Valve, was watched live online by more than 20 million people. At its highest, the number of people watching at the same time was over 2 million, a figure that Valve says doubled last year's peak concurrent viewership.
Skullcandy's Method sports buds will get tunes stuck in your head
Xbox steps up its game with the best free Games with Gold offering yet
It wasn’t long ago that we talked about the one way the Xbox One was beating the PlayStation 4, but if the free monthly offering of Games with Gold keeps getting better at this rate, we’ll have to add an asterisk to that headline. Microsoft announced via the Xbox Wire on Monday that the Games with Gold for August would include Crimson Dragon and Strike Suit Zero: Director’s Cut on Xbox One as well as Motocross Madness and Dishonored on Xbox 360. Crimson Dragon was actually a launch title for the Xbox One and serves as a spiritual successor to the cult hit Panzer Dragoon series. It’s an on-rails shooter in which the protagonist battle fantastical foes while mounted on a dragon.
23andMe lands $1.4 million grant from NIH to detect genetic roots for disease
Home genetics startup 23andMe has secured a $1.4 million two-year grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to build survey tools and expand its gene database. With these funds from NIH, an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the company intends to use its stores of genetic data for various research projects. External researchers will be able to access information on thousands of diseases and traits for more than 400,000 people. The grant "enables researchers from around the world to make genetic discoveries," Anne Wojcicki, chief executive officer of 23andMe, said in a statement.
Engadget Daily: EA Access, upgrading your dumb home on a budget and more!
Canada says China hacked science agency computers
Canada accused China on Tuesday of hacking into the computers of its research and development arm, which Beijing strongly denied. China partners each year with thousands of Canadians firms to roll out new technologies, and took advantage of this arrangement to engage in a cyber attack, Ottawa said. "Recently, the government of Canada, through the work of the Communications Security Establishment, detected and confirmed a cyber intrusion on the IT infrastructure of the National Research Council of Canada by a highly sophisticated Chinese state-sponsored actor," said a government statement.
Facebook to close up shop on its digital gift card service
If you want to buy your friend a gift card to go stuff themselves at Chilis, you're going to have to do it somewhere else than Facebook soon. The social network today said it's shuttering its gifts service, which let people buy gift cards in the form of digital codes. According to Facebook, which spoke to Recode, the service is being shut down for good August 12th in favor of simply letting developers and companies offer their own online stores, complete with "buy" buttons for goods. On its help page, Facebook notes that those who have received digital gifts or that have a balance from a Facebook Card can still redeem those after the end of the program.
Physicist concocts ice cream that changes color when you lick it
Apple may have just revealed a new Mac mini coming in mid-2014
It’s been nearly two years since the last update to the Mac mini line, but Apple may have quietly revealed a new model on Tuesday amid the launch of the 2014 versions of the Retina MacBook Pro. 9to5Mac points out that a new listing on the Boot Camp support page on Apple’s website shows “Mac mini (Mid 2014)” as one of the Mac mini models near the bottom of the page. This isn’t the first time we’ve heard tell of a new Mac mini for 2014 either. Back in January, the recipient of information from a “reliable source” told MacRumors that the miniaturized computer would see release before the end of February. Clearly the February release didn’t pan out, but the source also mentioned
Netflix agrees to pay AT&T to ensure smooth video downloads
Video streaming service Netflix has agreed to pay U.S. broadband provider AT&T Inc to ensure smooth delivery of Netflix content to Internet users, the companies said on Tuesday. The announcement of the deal, struck in May, comes as Netflix has been waging a public campaign against such fees, which they present as tolls, and calling on the Federal Communications Commission to review the market. Having brokered this so-called interconnection agreement, AT&T and Netflix are now working to build out new network connections for Netflix content to be delivered directly to AT&T's servers "to improve the viewing experience for our mutual subscribers," the companies' representatives said.
Playdate: We're livestreaming 'The Last of Us: Remastered' on PS4! (update: it's over!)
Martha Stewart writes a love letter to drones in 'Time' magazine
We have been dutifully chronicling the particular technological habits of Martha Stewart — yes, that Martha Stewart, lifestyle magazine magnate and convicted obstructor of justice — for some time now, including her self-described "beautiful" personal drone. In an 800-plus-word ode published in Time magazine, Stewart reveals the backstory of her introduction to drones (a "meet cute" on a beach in Maine on her birthday, naturally), and expresses her admiration of how great architects of the past were able to build things without drone aerial photography. She also makes a few good points about the usefulness of drones compared to other, more potentially dangerous methods of aerial surveying, and acknowledges that there remain serious unanswered questions about how drones should be regulated in order to protect people and their privacy.
Netflix cut a deal with AT&T, just like the ones with Verizon and Comcast
Can Technology Disrupt the Boardroom?
As baby boomers retire, the boardroom is ripe for a makeover and its composition is likely to change meaningfully over the coming years. This opens up opportunities for tech companies to disrupt board recruiting, an opaque process currently driven by insiders. What compelling offerings and viable business models could a technology platform...
Chinese smartphone makers win as market swells
Chinese smartphone makers racked up big gains as the global market for Internet-linked handsets grew to record levels in the second quarter, International Data Corp said Tuesday. Huawei and Lenovo, both based in China, came out winners as a record-high 295.3 million smartphones were shipped worldwide in the second quarter of this year, according to IDC. "As the death of the feature phone approaches more rapidly than before, it is the Chinese vendors that are ready to usher emerging market consumers into smartphones," IDC senior research manager Melissa Chau said in a release with the quarterly figures. "The offer of smartphones at a much better value than the top global players but with a stronger build quality and larger scale than local competitors gives these vendors a precarious competitive advantage."
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