Facebook profit, revenue smash estimates as mobile ad sales soar

(Reuters) – Facebook Inc crushed quarterly profit and revenue estimates on Wednesday as the social media giant’s push into video ads helped bolster its fast-growing mobile ad business. The company’s shares were up 1.4 percent at $168 after the bell. Through Wednesday’s close, the stock had climbed nearly 44 percent this year. Facebook said about 2.01 billion people were using its service monthly as of June 30, up 17 percent from a year earlier. The social media giant said in June it had surpassed the 2-billion user mark. Mobile ad revenue accounted for 87 percent of the company’s total advertising Click Here to Read more

iRobot shares surge on strong sales of Roomba vacuum cleaners

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Shares in iRobot Corp jumped 23 percent to a record high on Wednesday after the Roomba robotic vacuum maker posted better-than-expected quarterly results and said it was buying its largest European distributor. The stock surged by $21.27 to $109.03 and was on track for its biggest one-day percentage gain since 2010. Previously from Reuters: Roomba vacuum maker iRobot betting big on the ‘smart’ home The Bedford, Massachusetts-based company’s revenue rose to $183.1 million in the second quarter from $148.7 million the same quarter last year, beating average analyst expectations of $174.7 million, according to Thomson Reuters Click Here to Read more

Greece arrests Russian suspected of running $4 billion bitcoin laundering ring

ATHENS/MOSCOW/NEW YORK (Reuters) – A Russian man suspected of being the anonymous mastermind behind one of the world’s oldest crypto-currency exchanges and of laundering at least $4 billion has been arrested in Greece, police and sources said on Wednesday. Police sources identified him as Alexander Vinnik, 38, who was arrested after a tip-off in a small beachside village in northern Greece on a U.S. warrant. Police said the United States would seek to extradite him. Two sources close to the BTC-e virtual currency exchange, who declined to be named while commenting on an ongoing case, said Vinnik was a key Click Here to Read more

Facebook funds Harvard effort to fight election hacking, propaganda

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) – Facebook Inc (FB.O) will provide initial funding for a nonprofit organization that aims to help protect political parties, voting systems and information providers from hackers and propaganda attacks, the world’s largest social network said on Wednesday. The initiative, dubbed Defending Digital Democracy, is led by the former campaign chairs for Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Mitt Romney, and will initially be based at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, which announced the project last week. Facebook said it hoped additional participants would turn it into a freestanding information-sharing center controlled by its members. Facebook, with 2 Click Here to Read more

U.S. treads water on cyber policy as destructive attacks mount

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – The Trump administration’s refusal to publicly accuse Russia and others in a wave of politically motivated hacking attacks is creating a policy vacuum that security experts fear will encourage more cyber warfare. In the past three months, hackers broke into official websites in Qatar, helping to create a regional crisis; suspected North Korean-backed hackers closed down British hospitals with ransomware; and a cyber attack that researchers attribute to Russia deleted data on thousands of computers in the Ukraine. Yet neither the United States nor the 29-member NATO military alliance have publicly blamed national governments for those Click Here to Read more

Apple’s Jony Ive: Earbuds were inspired by Star Wars’ Stromtroopers

“On a sunny day in May, Jonathan Ive — Jony to anyone who knows him — first encounters a completed section of Apple Park, the giant campus in Cupertino, California, that has turned into one of his longest projects as Apple’s chief designer,” Christina Passariello reports for The Wall Street Journal. “A section of workspace in the circular, Norman Foster–designed building is finally move-in-ready: sliding-glass doors on the soundproof offices, a giant European white oak collaboration table, adjustable-height desks, and floors with aluminum-covered hinged panels, hiding cables and wires, and brushed-steel grating for air diffusion.” “Apple Park is unlike any Click Here to Read more

Twitter no longer at ‘death’s door’ as earnings report approaches

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Twitter Inc heads toward its quarterly earnings report on Thursday with a stock that has risen more than 40 percent since April when much of Wall Street was ready to write off the tech company. The company’s share price popped after its most recent earnings report in April, when Twitter disclosed better-than-expected user growth. The number of people on Twitter will be in sharp focus on Thursday, when investors and analysts will see if it has kept up the 6 percent year-over-year growth in monthly active users it reported in April. Twitter said then that it Click Here to Read more

Wisconsin company offers employees microchip implants

(Reuters) – A Wisconsin vending machine company is offering its employees a chance to have a microchip implanted in their hands that they could use to buy snacks, log in to computers or use the copy machine. About 50 employees at Three Square Market have agreed to the optional implant of the chips, which are the approximate size and shape of a grain of rice, said Tony Danna, vice president of international sales at the River Falls-based company. The company, which employs 85, said it was the first in the United States to offer staff the technology which is similar Click Here to Read more

Options traders bullish on Facebook ahead of second-quarter results

NEW YORK (Reuters) – As Facebook Inc (FB.O) geared up to report second-quarter results on Wednesday, traders in the options market are exhibiting a greater degree of bullishness in more than a year, options data showed. The stock, which hit an all-time high of $166.17 on Monday, has climbed 43 percent this year, outperforming the 23 percent gain for the S&P 500 Tech sector .SPLRCT. But far from being uneasy about the lofty heights the stock has scaled, traders instead have been busy betting on the shares to move higher. “The overall flavor of trading in Facebook’s options has been Click Here to Read more

The Internet just SAVED Microsoft Paint

(The Washington Post): Microsoft Paint isn’t going anywhere after all. After an outcry of longtime aspiring digital artists, Microsoft had a change of, umm, art, and said it would not discontinue the classic program. Instead, the company said an app version would be available in the Windows store. “MS Paint is not going away,” a Microsoft spokesperson, said in an email. “In addition to the new 3D capabilities, many of the MS Paint features people know and love like photo editing and 2D creation are in Paint 3D–the new app for creativity, available for free with the Windows 10 Creators Update. Click Here to Read more

Adobe to ‘Kill Flash’ in 2020

Early Tuesday, Adobe announced that it’s planning to put its well-known Flash plug-in in what is called at End Of Life sometime in the year 2020. The company is encouraging developers to begin and migrate away from the plug in, in favor for other, more updated technologies such as HTML5, WebGL, and others: But as open standards like HTML5, WebGL and WebAssembly have matured over the past several years, most now provide many of the capabilities and functionalities that plugins pioneered and have become a viable alternative for content on the web. Over time, we’ve seen helper apps evolve to Click Here to Read more

House panel wants Google, Facebook, AT&T CEOs to testify on internet rules

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The chairman of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee on Tuesday asked the chief executives of Alphabet Inc, Facebook Inc, Amazon.com Inc, AT&T Inc, Verizon Communications Inc and other companies to testify at a Sept. 7 hearing on the future of net neutrality rules. The U.S. Federal Communications Commission is considering tossing out 2015 Obama administration net neutrality rules that reclassified internet service like a public utility. The rules bar providers from blocking, slowing or offering paid prioritization of websites. Many internet providers want Congress to step in and write permanent rules. Other chief executives asked Click Here to Read more

ABC Television Network to Debut Autism Drama this Fall

Web site DisabilityScoop.com is reporting that the ABC Television Network will be debuting a new prime time television show that will feature a doctor who has Autism and Savant Syndrome. The hourlong show starts Freddie Highmore as Shaun Murphy, a young surgeon who has both disabilities, and is  developed by the same creator who brought you “House“. The show called “The Good Doctor” will debut on September 25th at 10pm Eastern Time, and will be available for streaming via ABC.com after the show airs.  

Investors unhappy as Alphabet shells out more to drive traffic

(Reuters) – There are very few things that make Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) investors unhappy. A rising TAC – the cost of driving traffic to its site – is one of them. Google-parent Alphabet, which has enjoyed revenue growth rate of over 20 percent for the past five quarters, said on Monday that TAC, or traffic acquisition costs, jumped 28 percent to $5.09 billion in the second quarter. That is the highest percentage increase in TAC in nine years and analysts said they expect it to continue to weigh on margins even as the company’s fundamentals remain strong. Alphabet’s shares, which Click Here to Read more

EU increases pressure on Facebook, Google and Twitter over user terms

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union authorities have increased pressure on Facebook, Twitter and Google to amend their user terms to bring them in line with EU law after proposals submitted by the tech giants were considered insufficient. The European Commission and consumer protection authorities in the bloc wrote to the three companies in June, asking them to improve their proposed changes to user terms by the end of September, according to letters sent to the companies and seen by Reuters on Monday. The authorities have the power to issue fines if the companies fail to comply. Twitter did not respond Click Here to Read more