|Day's range||0.9500 - 1.0000|
Google today announced that Dataset Search, a service that lets you search for close to 25 million different publicly available data sets, is now out of beta. Dataset Search first launched in September 2018. Researchers can use these data sets, which range from pretty small ones that tell you how many cats there were in the Netherlands from 2010 to 2018 to large annotated audio and image sets, to check their hypotheses or train and test their machine learning models.
Google is a good example of this. Google mobile search, in case you haven't used it lately, is bad. It's not just Google's mobile search interface that makes me want to claw my eyes out and learn how to talk to trees.
(Bloomberg) -- Sonos Inc. Chief Executive Officer Patrick Spence apologized to customers after a backlash over the company’s plan to halt software updates for older products.The Santa Barbara, California-based speaker maker earlier this week said it would stop providing updates and new features for speakers launched in the 2000s, including the Connect, ZonePlayer, the original Play:5 and Bridge.The company warned that even if customers only had one older speaker, their entire Sonos sound systems might lose access to services and functionality would “eventually be disrupted.” It also suggested users buy new speakers with a 30% credit for each legacy device traded in. Sonos devotees quickly went berserk on social media, accusing the company of purposely degrading existing hardware to spur new sales.“I have over 1000USD of *speakers* that must be retired now? Terrible product life cycle support,” Scott Jenson, a longtime Google executive, wrote on Twitter. “I clearly have no choice to upgrade but I’m certainly NOT going to trust my money with Sonos ever again.”In a statement Thursday, Sonos didn’t reverse the decision to nix software updates in May, but pledged to keep older speakers “updated with bug fixes and security patches for as long as possible.” The company also said it would “work to offer an alternative solution” to major issues that can’t be addressed.“We heard you. We did not get this right from the start. My apologies for that and I wanted to personally assure you of the path forward,” Spence wrote in a letter posted on Sonos’s blog. “First, rest assured that come May, when we end new software updates for our legacy products, they will continue to work as they do today. We are not bricking them, we are not forcing them into obsolescence, and we are not taking anything away.”Sonos’s original announcement suggested that legacy products would eventually stop working with newer speakers. On Thursday, the company said that would no longer be the case. “We are working on a way to split your system so that modern products work together and get the latest features, while legacy products work together and remain in their current state,” Spence wrote. Jenson applauded the response on Twitter Despite the backlash, it’s common for technology companies to cut off software updates for older devices. Apple Inc.’s latest iOS operating system doesn’t support iPhones sold before 2015 and iPads made before 2014. That spurs millions of people to spend hundreds of dollars buying new handsets.Apple’s Lower Prices, Users’ Aging Handsets Drive IPhone DemandSonos is under pressure from larger rivals including Apple, Amazon.com Inc. and Google, which sell internet-connected speakers with digital assistants built in. Sonos sued Google recently, accusing the tech giant of ripping off its designs.Spence testified at a Congressional antitrust hearing this month and argued that Sonos was different from larger rivals because it supports products for many years. “Our business model is simple — we sell products which people pay for once, and we make them better over time with software updates,” Spence said.Some users on Twitter quickly contrasted that statement with this week’s decision to end software updates on many speakers.To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Gurman in Los Angeles at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alistair Barr at email@example.com, Jillian WardFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Intel Corp. gave bullish quarterly and full-year revenue forecasts, driven by a surge in demand for chips that power large cloud-computing centers. The shares jumped as much as 7.8% in late trading.Sales in the current quarter and in 2020 will be well above what analysts had predicted and are outpacing normal industry trends, the chipmaker said on Thursday. Fourth-quarter revenue and profit also topped Wall Street’s highest estimates. As the biggest provider of server chips, Intel is benefiting from a rush to build capacity in data centers operated by companies such as Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Facebook Inc. and Amazon.com Inc’s AWS.“We’re well ahead of our expectations in the quarter and it’s continuing into this year,” Chief Financial Officer George Davis said in an interview. “That’s just a great dynamic.”Revenue from cloud-service providers, who offer computing power and storage via the internet, surged 48% in the fourth quarter, fueling a gain in sales of the company’s most lucrative chips. A spike in demand from these buyers is helping to ease concerns that Intel was losing its technology leadership in computer processors and faced a competitive threat from customers’ own development efforts. Some high-end server chips cost more than compact car.Revenue in the current period will be about $19 billion, and profit will be $1.23 a share, excluding certain items, Intel said. That compares with average analysts’ projections for $17.2 billion and $1.04 a share. Sales in 2020 will be about $73.5 billion, the company said late Thursday in a statement. Analysts were looking for $72.2 billion on average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.The company’s annual forecast implies growth will abate in the second half of the year, Davis said. Big purchases from data-center owners tend to come in lumps, followed by slower periods when the components are being built into computers.“The hard part is forecasting when they’re going to slow down and digest,” he said.Fourth-quarter sales rose 8% to $20.2 billion, the Santa Clara, California-based company said. Analysts on average had predicted $19.2 billion. Net income was $6.9 billion, or $1.58 a share, compared with estimates for $1.23 a share. Gross margin, or the percentage of sales remaining after deducting the cost of production, was 58.8% in the quarter.The largest U.S. chipmaker has fallen behind rivals in semiconductor-manufacturing technology, sparking concern on Wall Street about sales growth and future profit. In November, the company told PC customers inventory remained tight because of limited manufacturing capacity. Still, executives have said that Intel is targeting a broader range of markets and the company has plenty of room to expand in new areas, such as networking and the auto industry.Demand for personal computers held up well in the recent period, Davis said. Global PC shipments rose 2.3% from a year earlier in the December period as companies upgraded to a new version of Microsoft Corp.’s Windows operating system, according to research firm Gartner Inc. Intel has more than 80% market share in PC processors, and it controls even more of the server-chip market. In that business, semiconductor rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc. has fielded new products, and companies such as Amazon have said they’re designing some chips on their own -- leading some analysts to predict Intel would begin to lose business and struggle to grow this year.So far, there’s no sign of that hurting the company’s performance. In the fourth quarter, Intel’s data center unit reported a sales increase of 19% to $7.2 billion. PC-chip sales gained 2% to $10 billion. The company’s programmable-chip unit was the only division to post a decline. Sales at the Mobileye unit, which makes chips used to help vehicles pilot themselves, grew 31% to $240 million.(Updates with comment from CFO in third paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Ian King in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at email@example.com, Alistair Barr, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Intel Inc. closed out 2019 learning the hard lesson that making cutting-edge semiconductors is truly difficult.Like a prizefighter who refuses to admit he just hit the mat, the world’s biggest chipmaker is coming out swinging. And it should, because how it gets through 2020 could decide the company’s fate. Once the most advanced supplier of semiconductors, Intel struggled last year to ramp up production of chips that use its latest 14-nanometer process node, “letting customers down,” as CEO Bob Swan said in October. Its full-year results released Thursday showed that revenue climbed 2% and that net income was flat — hiding the fact that Intel dodged a bullet when it wasn’t able to supply enough of its most advanced products when clients needed them most.It tried to offer some reassurance three months ago by noting that it would increase 14-nanometer capacity 25% this year while raising capital spending to nose-bleed levels. To help overcome that slip-up, executives are keen to tell investors how many customers have signed up for its latest offerings, including chips dubbed Ice Lake and Comet Lake, which use the next-generation 10-nanometer process. In reality, Intel is badly lagging behind both contract manufacturer Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co. TSMC, for example, started selling its 10-nanometer chip technology in mid-2017 and last year boosted revenue from its more advanced 7-nanometer offerings by more than 200%. When Intel eventually hits 7 nanometers in 2021, it will be almost three years behind.Intel’s rebuttal is that so-called process-node technology isn’t the only thing. It’s right, and clients should look at total system performance to see how all the parts — the processor, memory and controllers — all slot together. No other company in the world can offer the breadth and depth that Intel can.But with Advanced Micro Devices Inc. back in the game after a decade in the wilderness and a raft of chip designers ready to tap TSMC’s technology advantage, Intel would be foolish to rest on the belief that it can stay ahead of the game while lagging behind on technology. It knows this and has committed to speeding up its migration from the pace of a new node every five to seven quarters to as little as four quarters. Yet investors ought to also note that the introduction of a new node compresses margins during the early stages before better yields provide economies of scale later. A quicker timetable won’t allow as much time to enjoy the upside before the next margin crunch comes.Intel’s strategy to offset this squeeze is to tap continued growth in the data-center market. Cloud providers like Amazon.com Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. are among customers for its 14-nanometer Cascade Lake products, while the global 5G rollout is expected to provide a couple of solid growth years. Its Data Center Group accounts for 32.6% of revenue but 46.4% of operating income, making it Intel’s most lucrative business unit by operating margin.But that business relies on Intel’s ability to churn out leading-edge chips that, even if not equivalent to what TSMC can offer clients, won’t be too far behind. A data center operator might be willing to forgive a single-generation lag, reasoning that the broader platform integration Intel offers can provide the cost-benefit metrics it needs. A two-generation delay is hard to overlook, though. Intel’s size and strength means it won’t be easily knocked out. But it needs to get through this year unscathed if it’s to remain the undisputed heavyweight champ.To contact the author of this story: Tim Culpan at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Niemi at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tim Culpan is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering technology. He previously covered technology for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Microsoft shares have surged 55% in the last year. Here's what investors can expect from the tech giant's Q2 fiscal 2020 earnings results and beyond...
(Bloomberg) -- A handful of local technology startups gathered to ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange Thursday, celebrating the city’s evolution as an international tech hub in recent years.“Ten years ago, tech in New York was people who would meet in Central Park and play soccer and now tech in New York is ringing the bell in the stock exchange,” said Serkan Piantino, co-founder and chief executive officer of Spell, an artificial intelligence company in New York.New York’s tech industry accounted for 333,000 jobs as of 2019, and counts more than 9,000 startups, according to Tech:NYC’s annual report. In addition to home-grown companies, the giants of Silicon Valley are increasingly expanding in the Big Apple. Alphabet Inc.’s Google, which already has more than 8,000 employees in New York could surpass 14,000 by 2028, while Facebook Inc. intends to double its headcount in the city. Many of the biggest tech companies are gobbling up real estate in Manhattan, seeking to tap the city’s highly skilled and diverse workforce.@TechNYC celebrates tech startups in NYC https://t.co/CBrUHdTsaJ— NYSE (@NYSE) January 23, 2020 Companies find that they can recruit people in New York for many different disciplines that are becoming fundamental to the industry, such as artificial intelligence, data science, and computer vision, said Ro Gupta, CEO of Carmera Inc., which makes real-time maps for autonomous driving.It’s that kind of growth and opportunity that has made the tech industry in New York “incredibly bullish” about its future, said Julie Samuels, executive director of Tech:NYC, a network of more than 800 tech companies in the city. However, it’s becoming harder to hire mid-level and senior employees in the industry, according to a 2019 survey by Tech:NYC and Accenture Plc.Tech has become a part of the city’s identity, said Aaron Block, co-founder of MetaProp NYC LLC, a venture capital firm focused on real estate technology. “It’s great to see New York embrace this in a way that is going to continue to fuel the growth of the industry locally,” Block said.To contact the reporter on this story: Nikitha Sattiraju in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Molly Schuetz at email@example.comFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
The top stories here are Apple's ITP vulnerability, Amazon's motion to stop work under the JEDI contract, Amazon's soaring music subs and the UK digital tax.
(Bloomberg) -- TripAdvisor Inc. Chief Executive Officer Stephen Kaufer will brief employees about plans to return the online travel company “to sustained, long-term growth” after the market closes Thursday, according to a memo to staff.The memo, sent by the company’s head of human resources, Beth Grous, also confirmed that there will be job cuts, as reported by Bloomberg on Wednesday. “These actions are never easy, especially when they impact people we know and care about,” Grous said in the memo obtained by Bloomberg. The company is eliminating about 200 employees, or about 5% of total staff, according to people familiar with the move.TripAdvisor’s struggles come as Alphabet Inc.’s Google has launched new, competing travel search tools, while adding its own reviews of hotels, restaurants and other destinations. Google has also crammed the top of its mobile search results with more ads. This has forced many companies, including TripAdvisor, to buy more ads from the search giant to keep online traffic flowing.In early November, TripAdvisor shares plunged more than 20% in one day after the company reported dismal third-quarter results. It said the main challenge was “Google pushing its own hotel products in search results and siphoning off quality traffic that would otherwise find TripAdvisor via free links and generate high margin revenue in our hotel click-based auction.” The shares are down about 46% over the past 12 months.Kaufer acknowledged on the earnings call that “Google has got more aggressive.” “We’re not predicting that it’s going to turn around.”While Kaufer won’t discuss the plans until after market close, and the company declined to comment, people familiar with the plans said the company is preparing for a minor re-branding that could debut as early as next week. The makeover will include a new logo and a stylistic change to the corporate name, shifting from TripAdvisor to “Tripadvisor” with a lowercase “a.” TripAdvisor is also preparing revamped versions of its iOS and Android apps for later this year, the people said.Needham, Massachusetts-based TripAdvisor also plans to increase advertisements and sponsored content on its platform to boost revenues.To contact the reporters on this story: Mark Gurman in Los Angeles at firstname.lastname@example.org;Olivia Carville in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tom Giles at firstname.lastname@example.org, Molly SchuetzFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Apple's (AAPL) first-quarter fiscal 2020 earnings are expected to have benefited from strength in Services. iPhone sales are likely to have declined due to stiff competition in China.
"We have found an agreement with US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and we are still in the process of defining the basis with the OECD."
(Bloomberg) -- TripAdvisor Inc. is cutting hundreds of jobs, according to people familiar with the situation, underscoring the company’s need to reduce costs as competition from Google intensifies.The online travel information provider is eliminating about 200 workers, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private decisions. The company had just over 3,800 staff at the end of September, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. A TripAdvisor spokesman declined to comment, but pointed to a recent earnings conference call in which the company said it was “prudently reducing and re-allocating expenses in certain parts of our business to preserve strong profitability.”Alphabet Inc.’s Google has launched new travel search tools that compete with TripAdvisor, while adding its own reviews of hotels, restaurants and other destinations. Google has also crammed the top of its mobile search results with more ads. This has forced many companies, including TripAdvisor, to buy more ads from the search giant to keep online traffic flowing.Google’s Search Ad Embrace Crushes Online Travel AgentsIn early November, TripAdvisor shares slumped more than 20% in one day after the company reported dismal third-quarter results. It said the main challenge was “Google pushing its own hotel products in search results and siphoning off quality traffic that would otherwise find TripAdvisor via free links and generate high margin revenue in our hotel click-based auction.”“Google has got more aggressive,” TripAdvisor Chief Executive Officer Stephen Kaufer said at the time. “We’re not predicting that it’s going to turn around.”To contact the reporters on this story: Mark Gurman in Los Angeles at email@example.com;Olivia Carville in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tom Giles at email@example.com, Alistair Barr, Jillian WardFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Apple stock has skyrocketed nearly 110% in the last year. Now the question is should investors think about buying the iPhone giant's stock before Apple reports its Q1 2020 earnings results on Tuesday, January 28?
(Bloomberg) -- Google engineers said a tool Apple Inc. developed to help users avoid web tracking is fundamentally flawed and creates more problems than it solves.The Intelligent Tracking Prevention feature on Apple’s Safari web browser, which is meant to block tracking software used by digital advertisers, can be abused to do the exact opposite, according to a paper released Wednesday by Google researchers. Google told Apple about the problem in August, and in December the iPhone maker published a blog post saying it had fixed the issues and thanking Google for its help.But Wednesday’s paper concluded that the problems go beyond the issues that Apple addressed. Instead of making a big list of cookies to block, Apple’s ITP continuously learns what websites users visit and which kinds of cookies try to hitch a ride. Over time, this creates unique cookie-blocking algorithms for each web surfer that can be used to identify and track them, according to the paper.“I can assure you that they still haven’t fixed these issues,” Justin Schuh, engineering director for Google’s Chrome browser, said on Twitter. Apple’s December blog post “didn’t disclose the vulnerabilities or appropriately credit the researchers,” he added. Apple said the bugs mentioned in the report were patched in December, but declined to comment further.This isn’t the first time the two tech giants have clashed over privacy. Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has criticized internet companies for collecting too much personal information, and last year Google researchers reported a two-year long vulnerability in the iPhone maker’s software. Google’s Chrome and Apple’s Safari are two of the most popular web browsers, with Chrome used by more people overall but Safari dominating on iPhones. Apple has been touting Safari privacy features to persuade more consumers to use it. Apple first introduced Intelligent Tracking Prevention in 2017. The tool targets cookies, bits of code that let marketers follow people around the web and send them targeted ads.Google refused to block cookies for years, arguing that targeted ads help publishers and keep the internet free. But last week, the internet giant said it would eventually phase them out, setting off a race among advertisers to adapt. Privacy advocates have lauded Apple’s approach to tracking, and criticized Google for taking so long to do the same. But the paper suggests Apple may have to go back to the drawing board to find a new way to block tracking.“This bug is quite counter-intuitive, but rather very serious,” said Lukasz Olejnik, an independent cybersecurity researcher.To contact the reporter on this story: Gerrit De Vynck in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alistair Barr at email@example.com, Jillian WardFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Jan.22 -- Howard Lerman, founder and chief executive officer of New York-based Yext Inc., which provides cloud-based search technology for businesses, discusses the company's strategy. Yext plans to open a new office in Tokyo and hire 100 employees in the country over the next five years. Lerman speaks with Shery Ahn and Taylor Riggs on "Bloomberg Technology: Global Link."