David Jones

About the Author David Jones


Wall Street

Snap Stock Snaps Back – for the Moment

Snap shares appear to have rebounded from the plunge they took earlier this month, after the newly public company released a massive $2.2 billion loss in the first quarter, but investors still are scratching their heads over the company’s prospects. Trading just over $20 at mid-day Tuesday, Snap looks to some like it has regained its early bloom. Others suspect that darker days are yet to come.

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deals

Softbank Vision Fund Attracts $93B From Gulf States, Apple, Others

The Softbank Vision Fund has closed its first major funding round raising more than $93 billion in capital from the Gulf states, as well as tech stalwarts Apple, Qualcomm and others. Softbank, which last fall launched the fund with backing from the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, said it has received new commitments from the Mubadala Investment Fund from the United Arab Emirates.

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E-Commerce

Walmart Delivers E-Commerce Stunner

Walmart on Thursday reported soaring e-commerce growth during its fiscal first quarter, along with strong organic sales figures — results that suggest rival Amazon may have a fight on its hands. Online sales grew a stunning 63 percent during the quarter, perhaps in response to the company’s newly introduced free two-day shipping and its upgraded mobile app.

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Developers

Google Pushes AI, Machine Learning to the Front

Addressing thousands of developers at the annual Google I/O conference on Wednesday, Google CEO Sundar Pichai outlined the company’s new strategy to transition from mobile first to artificial intelligence and machine learning. The goal is to equip the company’s line of digital assistant products and services to anticipate the needs of users, and comprehend sights and sounds in new ways.

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Cybercrime

Massive Ransomware Attack Reaps Meager Profits

The WannaCry ransom attack that quickly circled the globe last week is not yet fully contained. So far, it has impacted more than 300,000 computers in 150 countries. However, one of the remarkable things about it is that only a trifling $100,000 in ransom, give or take, apparently has been paid. That represents a surprisingly low response from an attack generally considered the biggest ever.

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mobile

Google’s New Mobile OS Will Have a Distinctly Non-Linux Hue

Google has been developing a new open source OS called “Fuchsia” for smartphones, tablets and other devices, which could be unveiled as early as this summer. Little has been revealed about the new OS since it first came to light last year. However, new details that surfaced last week have been making the rounds. Fuchsia apparently will move Google away from its long association with Linux.

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Cybercrime

British Hospitals, FedEx Among Thousands Hit by Ransomware

Authorities are investigating a massive ransomware attack that reportedly hit more than 45,000 computers in 74 countries worldwide, including the UK’s NHS England national health service, international delivery service FedEx, and Spanish telecom firm Telefonica. Security experts have linked the exploit to an earlier leak by the Shadow Brokers, who allegedly pilfered hacking tools from the NSA.

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Developers

Microsoft Debuts Smarter Cloud at Build

Microsoft executives, led by CEO Satya Nadella, introduced a series of enhancements to the company’s critical data and cloud services at the kickoff of its annual Build conference, demonstrating new ways to expand adoption of artificial intelligence, personal digital assistants and other innovations. There will be more than 25 billion intelligent devices in the world by 2020, Nadella said.

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Tech Blog

Qualcomm May Seek iPhone Ban to Retaliate Against Apple

Qualcomm plans to ask the ITC to block imports of iPhones, according to a report. The move apparently was spurred by Apple’s recent decision to stop making royalty payments owed under a licensing agreement between the two companies, which is the subject of a billion-dollar legal battle in federal court. “You can’t pay something when there’s a dispute about the amount,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said.

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Online Entertainment

Hulu Aims to Reinvent Live TV Experience

Hulu has announced a new live-streaming television service for $39.99 per month, which will place the company in direct competition with newly launched services from DirecTV Now, YouTube and other OTT content providers. The Hulu with Live TV beta will offer 50 channels of live-streaming television — including sports, news, entertainment, children’s programming and local network affiliates.

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mobile

Microsoft Aims to School Google With Education Onslaught

Microsoft on Tuesday launched a major effort to bulldoze its way into the educational computing space carved out by Google, with the introduction of a streamlined operating system called “Windows 10 S,” a range of new collaborative programs for K-12 schools, and two new Surface laptops aimed at the college student market. The Surface laptop runs on the Windows 10 S operating system.

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Social Networks

New Deals Turn Twitter’s Content Stream Into a River

Twitter has announced a partnership with Bloomberg to launch a 24-hour streaming news service — one of a dozen new content deals Twitter has entered to drive user engagement. CEO Jack Dorsey and a group of top executives announced the slate of programming agreements — which include concerts from Live Nation, sports from Major League Baseball and the WNBA, and a morning news show from BuzzFeed.

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gaming

Nintendo Drops New Portable on Market as Switch Sales Take Hold

Nintendo last week introduced a new contender in the increasingly hot portable gaming competition. The New Nintendo 2DS XL will make its debut on July 28 at a mid-range price of $149.99. It will slot in right between the entry-level 2DS and more robust 3DS XL. The 2DS XL has the same large screen as the 3DS XL and can play all the games made for the Nintendo 3DS, New Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo DS.

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Social Networks

Instagram Snaps Up Rivals’ Users

Instagram has reached a milestone of 700 million members while enjoying the fastest-ever growth rate in its history. The network has grown by more than 100 million members in the last four months. Its burgeoning growth can be credited to new features like Stories, live video and disappearing messages, the company said. User engagement with Stories has grown to more than 200 million people per day.

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deals

Salesforce, QuintilesIMS Team to Push New Therapies to Market

Salesforce has entered an alliance with QuintilesIMS aimed at helping life sciences companies move treatments from clinical phases to commercial applications more effectively. QuintilesIMS, formed last year through the merger of healthcare data provider IMS Health and medical research firm Quintiles Transnational, is one of the world’s largest integrated healthcare services companies.

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Consumer Security

Microsoft Inches Toward a World Without Passwords

Microsoft has announced the general availability of its phone sign-in for customers with Microsoft accounts — a system that could be the beginning of the end for passwords. The new system requires that customers add their accounts to the Microsoft Authenticator app, which comes in both iOS and Android versions, noted Alex Simons, director of program management of the Microsoft Identity Division.

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Social Networks

Cleveland Murder Intensifies Scrutiny of Facebook Live

Video footage of a senseless murder in Cleveland, posted after the fact on Facebook Live, has attracted national attention to the role of the platform in criminals’ minds. Authorities Tuesday morning announced that Steve Stephens — the 37-year-old suspect wanted for the cold-blooded shooting of Robert Godwin Sr. — shot himself to death after a short pursuit by Pennsylvania State Police.

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Tech Buzz

Apple May Transform Diabetes Care and Treatment: Report

Apple is working on a secret project to develop wearable devices that can monitor the blood sugar of diabetics without using invasive finger sticks, according to a report. Apple has assembled a team of biomedical engineers from various companies to work on the project. Glucose monitoring traditionally has required that diabetics use lancets to pierce their fingertips at least four times daily.

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Developers

Anbox Could Be the Android-to-Linux Tool Devs Have Been Waiting For

The ability to run Android apps natively in a Linux desktop environment is a step closer to realization, thanks to Anbox, a new open source project. Simon Fels, lead software engineer at Canonical, last week debuted a pre-alpha release of the Anbox platform, which he has been working on independently since 2015. There were quite a few problems to solve on the way to a working version, he said.

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Tech Law

Qualcomm Answers Apple’s $1B Lawsuit, Files Counterclaims

Qualcomm on Monday fired back with a response and counterclaim to Apple’s $1 billion federal patent suit filed earlier this year. Apple breached agreements and encouraged regulatory attacks in a scheme to coerce unfair licensing terms, Qualcomm claimed. Apple’s suit argues that Qualcomm used its dominant position in semiconductors to force it to pay billions in unfair additional royalty payments.

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Tech Law

Labor Official Skewers Google Over Gender Pay Discrimination

The Department of Labor has found “systemic compensation disparities” between Google’s female employees and their male counterparts, regional director Janette Wipper said at a hearing in San Francisco. The hearing was in connection with the department’s lawsuit over Google’s failure to hand over detailed compensation data about employees at its Mountain View, California, headquarters.

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software

Shuttleworth Gives Up Hope for Convergence Breakthrough

Canonical’s long and winding quest for a unified user experience came to a sudden halt on Wednesday, as founder Mark Shuttleworth announced the firm’s decision to stop investing in its struggling Unity8 shell and revert to Gnome. The 6-year-old Unity plan was to create a user interface that could work on various types of devices, ranging from a mobile phone to a personal computer or tablet.

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E-Commerce

Twitch Aims to Get Ahead of Steam

Twitch, the Amazon-owned live-streaming video platform, has launched its highly anticipated online game store. It includes goodie bags and other incentives, both for gamers who take the plunge and streamers who provide the content. Twitch earlier this year announced that it would be selling games and in-game content directly through the online store, competing with major gaming sites like Steam.

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internet

What Is Verizon Promising With Its New Oath?

Verizon on Monday confirmed reports that it will rebrand its AOL and Yahoo businesses under a new entity called “Oath.” AOL CEO Tim Armstrong delivered the message via a tweet. The rebranding is part of a plan to reinvest millions into the legacy digital content companies with the aim of creating a major new platform. The “Yahoo” and “AOL” names will live on under the overarching Oath brand.

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