|Day's range||4.4000 - 4.4000|
"We're trying to shift cryptocurrency from this speculative asset class to driving real world utility" Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong tells me. Today the startup announces it's hired away former Head Of Product for Indian ecommerce giant Flipkart and Google Shopping VP of Product Surojit Chatterjee to become Coinbase's Chief Product Officer. "I’ve always enjoyed being associated with technology that is on the brink of changing how we live" writes Chatterjee.
(Bloomberg) -- In July, Facebook Inc. quietly hired Miranda Sissons, a 49-year old human rights activist whose previous work has included stints at the Australian diplomatic service and the International Center for Transitional Justice. The hiring, which was never formally announced, is part of a broader effort by the company to atone for more than once failing to stop online abuse on Facebook from spilling over into real-world violence. Human rights advocates in places like Sri Lanka, the Philippines, India and Brazil have long complained that the company has refused to acknowledge mounting evidence about the dangers of digital hate. As Facebook pursued world-changing growth, particularly in developing countries, it didn’t always have local staff there, or even employees who spoke the language. In Myanmar, a wave of online hate preceded a campaign of violence against the country’s Rohingya minority that led to thousands of deaths and the displacement of over 700,000 people. An independent report Facebook commissioned in 2018 found that it bore partial responsibility for fueling the conflict. Immediately after taking the job, Sissons took a five-day trip to the country. “I was deeply, deeply aware of the criticism of Facebook’s inaction in Myanmar, and deeply aware of the struggles humankind is facing with the impact of social media,” Sissons told Bloomberg News earlier this month in her first press interview in her new role. “This is one of the greatest challenges of our time.”Sissons work is part of a broader reckoning within the technology industry, which has been forced to reexamine its role in world conflicts. Several months before Facebook hired Sissons, Twitter Inc. brought on Cynthia Wong, a former researcher at Human Rights Watch, to be its human rights director. As with Facebook, Twitter never announced the hiring. In discussions with more than a dozen people familiar with Facebook’s work on human rights, a picture emerges of a company that has been moving rapidly but, according to its skeptics, not always effectively. One Facebook employee, who asked not to be identified discussing private information, said its shortcomings have not always been the result of having too few people dedicated to human rights, but at times having so many people involved that they’re working at cross-purposes. Human rights advocates outside the company acknowledge Facebook’s effort to hire experts, and say it has become far more responsive. But they worry that internal advocates like Sissons won’t be adequately empowered, and many are withholding praise until the company makes more concrete changes. “They are hiring people who have the right knowledge, experience and sensibility to tackle human rights problems,” said Matthew Smith, chief executive of Fortify Rights, a human rights group. “So far, though, that’s clearly not enough.” Sissons’ human rights education started early. Her father was a prominent Australian historian who served in the occupation force of Hiroshima after World War II, then worked as an interpreter in the Australian-led tribunals of Japanese officials accused of war crimes. “My early childhood was completely taken up with discussions of war crimes, war criminals, the Second World War, and notions of justice,” she said.After attending the University of Melbourne, Sissons spent time in East Timor, researched Middle Eastern issues and took several posts with the Australian diplomatic corps, including a frustrating stint answering phones at an Australian embassy in Egypt. “My Arabic wasn’t very good,” she confessed. “People would ring me up and shout at me about all kinds of things, and I would have to find a solution. ” Eventually, Sissons went on to work on her own high-profile tribunal as an independent observer of the trial of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, and she did stints at Human Rights Watch and the Australian diplomatic corps. In 2011 Sissons switched her focus to the relationship between human rights and technology. She had been working in the Middle East, where the Arab Spring was just getting underway, and many people believed social media could shift the balance of power between citizens and oppressive regimes. It was a time of unmatched optimism about the potential of social media in political organizing.The good feelings didn't last. As early as 2014 there were credible reports emerging of coordinated incitement on Facebook against the Rohingya in Myanmar. The online abuse foreshadowed a wave of violence that began in earnest in 2016.By the time Facebook began looking for a human rights director in 2018, the conventional wisdom on tech from a few years earlier had effectively reversed. The killings in Myanmar and elsewhere, coupled with Russian-led disinformation campaigns in Donald Trump’s presidential election, had darkened popular opinion. Companies that were accustomed to being revered were suddenly being accused of simultaneously squelching free expression and tolerating active manipulation of their platforms.The tech industry’s first halting steps to control the flow of abuse initially won few fans. In an online essay in late 2018 Cynthia Wong, then senior internet researcher for Human Rights Watch, said it was time for a “moral reckoning” in Silicon Valley. “If regulators, investors, and users want true accountability, they should press for a far more radical re-examination of tech sector business models, especially social media and advertising ecosystems,” she wrote. In some cases, the companies started hiring their critics. Twitter brought on Wong as its legal director of human rights in April 2019. The company declined to make her available for an interview, and said in a statement that it was “uniquely positioned to help activist and civic-minded people around the globe make their voices heard." Other attempts at reform were wholly unsuccessful. In early 2019 Ross LaJeunesse, then Google’s global head of international relations, saw Facebook’s posting for a human rights director, and used it to argue for the creation of a similar structure at his company. He failed, and left the company soon after. LaJeunesse, who is currently running for the U.S. Senate in Maine, now says tech companies can’t handle these issues on their own. “There has to be government oversight,” he said. Sissons, who reports to Facebook’s head of global policy management Monika Bickert, has over the last several months been quietly incorporating human rights protections into Facebook’s policies, and making sure that people with human rights training are in the meetings where executives sign off on new product features. She said the company had made progress before she arrived, including the reform of its 2018 decision to begin removing misinformation in situations where it could lead to physical harm.“There are now a lot of resources in place,” Sissons said. The challenge is to quickly identify local signs of trouble, then block or slow the spread of certain content, or take swift action against particular users. “We are testing continuously in crisis environments to try and predict what resources we’ll need,” she said, “and to ensure they’re in place.” When Sissons went to Myanmar with Facebook she made a stop in Phandeeyar, a tech hub and community center in downtown Yangon. Jes Kaliebe Petersen, its CEO, said he’s been meeting with Facebook employees for years—he helped the company develop local community standards almost five years ago. But the encounters have calcified into a depressingly predictable routine. “They send a bunch of people who have never been here before, and they talk to us,” said Petersen. “And we never hear from them again.” A spokesman for Facebook said it has held many introductory meetings at the request of local advocates, and argued the company has taken significant strides in the country. Besides hiring Sissons, it shut down hundreds of pages and accounts, including that of the head of Myanmar’s army, for spreading misinformation and hatred. It has hired a Myanmar head of public policy for the first time. And it assembled a team of 100 content moderators who speak Burmese. That group will be able to “support escalations” in other languages used in the country as well, Sissons said.The company also set up an independent review board for thorny content moderation issues, and in an unusual step, commissioned independent human rights assessments of what happened in Myanmar and other trouble spots. In November 2018, it published a 60-page report on Myanmar from the nonprofit group Business for Social Responsibility, in full. “They deserve praise for putting it out there,” said Dunstan Allison-Hope the lead author of the report. “You don’t see that.” But Facebook has never made the results of a similar assessment in Sri Lanka public, despite calls to do so. Sissons declined to say whether it had plans to publish those results. And there are currently no Facebook staff members working in Myanmar full-time—something that many advocates have called for. Representatives for Facebook say its staff based in Singapore and elsewhere are regularly in Myanmar, and that it has spent well over a year taking hundreds of meetings with people in the country. One person who said he'd never gotten an invitation to meet with Facebook is Nickey Diamond, a local advocate working for Fortify Rights. Diamond said he has been the target of harassing posts from the government for years, and still faces a menacing atmosphere online. “They’re sharing my picture with the word ‘traitor’ in Burmese,” he said. “Every human rights defender is in the same situation.” The broader problem Facebook is confronting—the vigilant monitoring of an ever-evolving social network used by 2.3 billion people—can seem almost impossibly daunting. The company now has content moderators examining posts in approximately 50 languages, Sissons said, a number that is unchanged from its count last April, and is fewer than half of the languages that Facebook actively supports. Facebook has said only technological improvements can combat problems at scale. It has automated tools that scan for hate speech, as well as image recognition technology monitoring for obscene content regardless of language. About 80% of the posts that Facebook acts on for violating its hate speech policies are now first identified by its automated filters, up from about 24% a year earlier.Soon, the challenges of monitoring the spread of abusive posts could become even more difficult. Facing pressure to increase user privacy, Facebook has prioritized private communications, meaning more content is encrypted so that even the company itself won’t know what it says. In those cases, Sissons said the company is working on tools that will look for patterns associated with problematic content, so it can either remove such messages or impede them from spreading so rapidly. Facebook is aware of the scope of its challenges, said Rebecca MacKinnon, the director of Ranking Digital Rights, an online advocacy group. “Facebook is making an effort to engage. Whether that will make a difference in the real world, we’ll see,” she said. “They’re dealing with some problems that no one knows how to solve.” When Sissons met with members of the Phandeeyar team last November in Myanmar, they came prepared with a handful of suggestions for actions Facebook should take before the national elections there, which are expected to take place later this year. While Phandeeyar staffers had been deeply engaged in the specifics for months, Sissons was still just getting her feet under her, and there wasn’t enough time in the hour-long meeting to get much resolution, said Phandeeyar CEO Petersen. “There’s always lots of goals for improvements. Hopefully Miranda has a sound plan for how to get there,” he said. “The thing is, we don’t really have that much time.” (Clarifies that Petersen was not in the meeting with Sissions in the penultimate paragraph of article published Tuesday. An earlier version of this story corrected the dates of Sissons' hiring and trip to Myanmar.)To contact the author of this story: Joshua Brustein in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Anne VanderMey at firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
Google Shopping product leader Surojit Chatterjee is leaving Alphabet Inc for the chief product officer role at cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Inc, the San Francisco-based startup announced on Wednesday. Chatterjee, a vice president at Google, last year oversaw the launch of a major redesign of Google Shopping, a service that has long struggled to catch up to Amazon.com Inc's dominance in e-commerce.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Slap a tariff on steel and you’re sure to roil markets. But behind the big headlines on trade sanctions are developments that might be just as momentous for the global economy: About 135 of the world's countries are negotiating a radical change to the rules about where and how much multinational companies pay in taxes. The topic was the subject of back-room talks in Davos last week and continue this week in Paris at a working meeting of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. There are important reasons that this effort -- after so many false starts -- may actually deliver change. First, the interests of rich and poor countries are aligned in an unusual desire to seize these untaxed profits. Second, the global corporations that benefit from the current system worry about new and uncoordinated taxes popping up around the world. Third, if there’s one economic issue that angers voters more than unfair trade, it’s rich corporations that skirt paying taxes. The G-20’s leaders started this process in 2013, and experts at the OECD are on the hook to build support for major reforms by the end of this year. The jargon for the technical problem they are tackling is “base erosion and profit shifting,” which refers to corporate efforts to book profits in low-tax jurisdictions and in many cases avoid taxes where they have no physical presence. International rules generally allow countries to tax only business activities in their own territory. The advent of digital services and online sales, however, makes it harder to pinpoint exactly where many business activities occur. Moreover, the rising value of brand names and intellectual property opens the way for financial engineering that makes sales by companies such as Amazon, Google and Starbucks in high-tax countries look less profitable. Measuring worldwide corporate tax avoidance involves a little guesswork. The OECD puts the number at about $240 billion in lost annual tax revenue, but one International Monetary Fund study reckons it could be more than twice that much, or almost 1% of global gross domestic product. Still another measure of the problem found that some 40% of reported foreign direct investment passes through corporate shells with no business activity, probably to avoid taxes.The OECD proposals that will be further fleshed out this week focus on two principal reforms. First, countries would be allowed to tax a proportion of a business’s global profits based on a company’s sales within that country. This would be a significant help for developing countries where many multinationals sell without a physical presence. A second set of proposals would establish the right to impose a minimum tax on global profits.It doesn’t take much imagination to see the devilishly complex issues such rules might trigger around definitions, reporting and fairness. A key goal of President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax reform was to bring home untaxed profits parked abroad, but so far its results have been mixed. Meanwhile, the European Union’s efforts to agree on a common digital tax have run aground.More dramatically, France’s unilateral tax on digital transactions triggered a sharp reaction -- and tariff threats -- from the Trump administration because the biggest targets were American. Trump and French President Macron brokered a temporary truce on the digital tax in Davos, with each side agreeing to stand down while multilateral negotiations continue. But the U.S. administration seems inclined to strike a broader deal. On the one hand, if Washington doesn’t like raising taxes, it certainly doesn’t like losing revenues to other countries. On the other, digital taxes similar to France's are on the table in the U.K., Canada, Australia and elsewhere. Trump is unlikely to punish them all as anger mounts over corporate tax evasion at home.Companies themselves are watching closely and sense that change is afoot. The only thing worse than coordinated change is uncoordinated change, although the details of the final deal will be crucial.There are the political calculations as well. If current leaders fail to deliver meaningful change, they may be swept aside by rising populist waves of unhappiness over inequality and excess corporate wealth. What’s currently on the table looks mild in comparison to proposals by the U.K. Labour Party and some U.S. Democratic presidential candidates.Investors may be reluctant to focus on such abstruse negotiations at the moment, especially when the economic data looks mostly promising. Political, national security and public-health headlines all are more likely to trigger market volatility.Still, it’s not too soon to start incorporating the risks of higher taxes on the world largest businesses. Investors ignore the consequences at their own peril.To contact the author of this story: Christopher Smart at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Greiff at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Christopher Smart is chief global strategist and head of the Barings Investment Institute.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.
(Bloomberg) -- Google’s response to a European Union order to give rival search apps a foothold on its Android phones may fail to steer users to alternatives, warned U.S. upstart DuckDuckGo, a competitor that won the right to appear as another search option on new handsets across Europe.Google has to prompt users to pick alternative search and web browser apps under the terms of a 2018 EU antitrust ruling that found the company unfairly ties moneymaking services to the Android software it gives away.It chose to set up an auction format for smaller rivals where they will pay to appear as a one of three non-Google options on the choice screen across Europe from March to June.But the user experience of the screens “is designed in a way that is subconsciously influencing people to use Google more than they otherwise should or would like to,” Gabriel Weinberg, chief executive officer of DuckDuckGo, a U.S. search engine that says it doesn’t track users, said in a phone interview.“Ultimately it will not be effective if it remains like that, if only because the auction format will push out a private option and that is the number one thing besides Google that people want to select,” he said.Non-Google OptionsThe auction will be re-run every three months. DuckDuckGo, Info.com and Google are the only search apps that will appear on the choice screens in 31 countries in the region. Microsoft Corp.‘s Bing will appear only on U.K. screens while Qwant, GMX, Seznam.cz AS, Yandex and PrivacyWall will be shown in some other European countries.Users trying to set up their phones will be shown a choice of four search engines, without much explanation of the apps or the possibility to change their choice later, DuckDuckGo said in a separate blog post on Tuesday.By passing up other ways of designing the prompts that could draw users to non-Google options, DuckDuckGo said Google is potentially undermining the EU order’s aim to widen alternatives to its apps.Google declined to comment, referring to a detailed January blog post where it said the “choice screen design was developed in consultation with the European Commission.”The commission’s press office said regulators “will continue monitoring closely the implementation of the choice screen mechanism” which comes after discussions with Google and feedback from other companies “in particular in relation to the presentation and mechanics of the choice screen and to the selection mechanism of rival search providers.”Choice Screen“As regards DuckDuckGo, as a result of the choice screen mechanism, they will be on every new Android device in the European Economic Area, and it will be for consumers to choose which search engine to install and use,“ the EU said in an emailed statement. The EU’s Android decision also allows rival search engines to be exclusively pre-installed on phone and tablets which “was not possible before.”Google said it was possible to pre-install other search providers prior to the EU ruling. The company is separately challenging the EU decision on Android at the bloc’s second-highest court. The same court will hold a three-day hearing in February on Google’s appeal to an earlier antitrust decision on its search service.Weinberg said DuckDuckGo has discussed its concerns with the European Commission.Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s competition commissioner, told reporters on Monday that she’s “very very closely” following Google’s efforts to comply with the order. She said she’s aware of the detail of the design, adding that officials were “doubting if people would use unlimited scroll” to show a large number of alternatives.Prices rivals must pay Google to appear on the screen “came down quite dramatically in the latest auction,” she said.The EU has never formally signed off on how Google opted to comply with the order, leaving it uncertain whether the company has done enough to avoid more fines. Regulators could seek further changes to the choice screen from Google if necessary.Google’s Chrome browser partly owes its own initial surge in popularity to choice screens that Microsoft agreed to show under EU pressure to offer people an alternative to the browser it loaded on to new personal computers with its Windows software.Microsoft’s screen “wasn’t limited in choice and had 12 different browsers” and “most or all of the elements that we are suggesting here,” Weinberg said.(Updates with detail of search apps in 6th paragraph. An earlier version of this story was corrected to say that Info.com will also appear across Europe.)\--With assistance from Natalia Drozdiak.To contact the reporter on this story: Aoife White in Brussels at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Chapman at firstname.lastname@example.org, Nate LanxonFor 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) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.Airbnb Inc.’s listings in France, a major but troubled market for the U.S. home-sharing startup, generated more than $2 billion for hosts last year, a person familiar with the matter said.France is Airbnb’s largest market outside of the U.S., offering villas in Provence and the Riviera to apartments on the Champs-Elysees.Bookings using Airbnb’s platform hit $2 billion in 2018 and sales grew in 2019, the person said, asking not to be identified because the information hasn’t been publicly disclosed. Airbnb charges a range of fees -- up to 20% -- depending on the property. Rentals in France rose last year as more users headed to rural retreats, a spokesman for the company said, declining to comment further.Airbnb is facing a deadline to send rental data to the French tax authorities this week as part of a law that requires marketplaces to share user revenue and other information to the state. Tax collectors will compare Airbnb’s disclosures with that of its hosts to look for tax avoidance.It’s the latest measure in a contentious relationship with France, which has sought to squeeze more data and money out of Airbnb and other tech giants under President Emmanuel Macron’s government.A tax on so-called digital giants is targeting large tech companies, including Google, Apple Inc., Facebook Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. It was enforced last year, but suspended last week as Macron sought to fend off U.S. President Donald Trump’s threats to slap tariffs on French wine and cheese. Airbnb said it contributed between 5 million euros ($5.5 million) and 10 million euros to that tax plan before the freeze.Read more about U.S. retaliation to the digital giants tax.Another newly enacted law forces Airbnb to supply local governments with information about the type of housing being offered, the number of guests and its hosts names and addresses. Paris and Bordeaux have asked for data under the new regulations, which took effect in December, Airbnb said. The company also pays tourist tax, which cost them 58 million euros last year, double the amount from 2018.”We are seeing a net loss of nearly 30,000 homes with the tourist furnished rental platforms,” said spokeswoman for the Paris city council. “Airbnb threatens the soul and identity of a number of neighborhoods. We cannot remain inert in the face of this situation. Every major city in the world is facing this problem.”Still, the country’s popularity makes it an important part in Airbnb’s strategy as it gears up for a listing this year. Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Brian Chesky has promised to list the company, which has a private valuation above $30 billion, before the end of this year when some employee stock grants expire.Read more about the company’s plans to list here.More than a decade after it was founded, Airbnb has plenty of experience dealing with regulators concerned about what the home-sharing platform, which now has more than 7 million listings worldwide, will do to local housing stock. U.S. cities including San Francisco and New York have tried to force Airbnb to hand over more data so they can enforce short-term rental laws.Entr’Hotes, a group of about 20 Paris super hosts have met with lawmakers to discuss their views as the government was preparing laws, and have called for more transparency.“The Paris city wants to make hosts responsible for their failure to managing the housing market in the city. Airbnb must show them wrong, and only showing data will prove it,” said Christine, 63, who rents a room in her private home in Paris’s trendy 11th arrondissement.“One thing they must show on the platform is the difference between us -- the home owners who welcome from time-to-time visitors, the DNA of Airbnb -- and the professional rentals, hotels and houses,” said Brigitte, another host who rents her 500-square-foot apartment on the South Bank of the Seine River.\--With assistance from Olivia Carville.To contact the reporter on this story: Helene Fouquet in Paris at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Giles Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org, Amy ThomsonFor 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) -- Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg is slated to visit Brussels in mid-February, meeting with European Union officials as the social media giant fends off antitrust and privacy scrutiny over how it handles user data.Zuckerberg’s trip to the EU capital follows a recent visit by Alphabet Inc.’s chief Sundar Pichai and comes as the EU is due to unveil its plans to regulate artificial intelligence several days later. The Facebook CEO is stopping by Brussels on his way to the Munich Security Conference.Zuckerberg will meet with “European decision-makers in Brussels to discuss a framework for new rules and regulation for the internet,” Facebook said in a statement.The Belgian capital has for years been at the forefront of regulating large U.S. tech companies, with strict competition enforcement and its flagship privacy rules, the General Data Protection Regulation, which entered into force in 2018.Facebook currently faces a slew of probes by national data protection regulators. At the same time, the European Commission, the bloc’s executive body, is looking into possible antitrust issues around how the company collects user data and has criticized the social media giant’s handling of the spread of disinformation on its platform.Illegal ContentThe commission is also gearing up to overhaul liability rules for platforms, with a proposal due to be unveiled by the end of the year. The rules could result in more legal responsibility for any hate speech or other illegal content users post to sites like Facebook, potentially leading to fines for companies that fail to remove the posts.Zuckerberg visited Brussels in 2018 when he spoke to EU lawmakers in a hearing in the European Parliament, where he apologized for the company’s privacy failures and that it didn’t take a broad enough view of its responsibility for fake news and foreign interference in elections.Facebook over the past year has called on regulators around the world to agree on standards governing online content -- and to prevent a patchwork of different measures that make it difficult for international companies to comply. In a blog post last March, Zuckerberg recommended overarching rules on hateful and violent content, election integrity, privacy and data portability.\--With assistance from Christopher Elser.To contact the reporter on this story: Natalia Drozdiak in Brussels at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Giles Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org, Peter ChapmanFor 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) -- Snowflake Inc.’s database software has emerged in an annual report as the fastest-growing cloud-based software program, signaling strong corporate demand for modern tools to help analyze data.Snowflake’s use among clients more than tripled in 2019, software maker Okta Inc. said Tuesday in its annual Businesses @ Work report, which tracks the popularity of corporate software. Atlassian Corp.’s Opsgenie tool took the No. 2 spot as fastest-growing, with a gain of 194%. Alphabet Inc.’s Google Cloud came in third place and Splunk Inc. in fourth.The cloud applications market generated $121 billion of revenue in 2018, according to research firm IDC. The infrastructure market, where Google Cloud competes, produced $36 billion in annual revenue, the firm said.Snowflake makes cloud-based data warehouses, a type of database that compiles information from various sources so it can be analyzed. The company competes against Amazon.com Inc.’s cloud division and database stalwarts such as Oracle Corp. The San Mateo, California-based startup is considering going public, although the chief executive officer has said the the earliest the company could be ready for such a move would be this summer.Opsgenie makes incident management software that notifies workers about critical issues to reduce or avoid service downtime. Todd McKinnon, the chief executive officer of Okta, said the types of software on the list represent a departure from the traditional business applications that topped the survey in previous years, such as office communications platform Slack Technologies Inc. and videoconferencing company Zoom Video Communications Inc.“This was the first year where the fastest-growing things were infrastructure tools or security tools,” McKinnon said in an interview. “It’s a natural coming of age. We’ve put a bunch of apps in place. Now you have to make sure they’re secure, that users aren’t being phished, that you’re using the data in those apps for insights.”The most popular corporate apps overall, by unique monthly active users, are Microsoft Corp.’s Office 365, Workday Inc. and ServiceNow Inc. Google’s G Suite and Salesforce.com Inc. round out the top five.Increasingly, corporate developer teams are buying work tools independent of their IT organizations. The most popular developer software is the Atlassian Product Suite, Okta said. It was followed by Microsoft Corp.’s GitHub, PagerDuty Inc., New Relic Inc., and the newly public Datadog Inc.Okta crunches these numbers based on data from its 7,500 customers, which use the software to securely log into various tech systems. The report presents and analyzes data from Nov. 1, 2018, to Oct. 31, 2019.(Updates with additional details in eighth paragraph. An earlier version of this story corrected the full name of Snowflake Inc. in the first paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Nico Grant in San Francisco at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org, Andrew Pollack, 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.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- We tend to think of language as the driver of thought, but what if it is something older? Motion has been a part of human thought ever since we could walk upright, if not before. Our Masters in Business guest this week, Barbara Tversky, professor of experimental psychology at Stanford and Columbia University, believes action is the key factor driving human cognitive development. The author of more than 200 research papers, her new book is "Mind in Motion: How Action Shapes Thought."Tversky’s research focuses on visual-spatial reasoning and collaborative cognition. She discusses the interplay of mind and body in enabling cognition. Consider gesture as an example. Tversky argues that gesturing is more than just a by-product of speech: it literally helps us to think. An experiment in her book is to try to explain out loud how to get from your house to the supermarket, train station, your office or school while you sit on your hands. It turns out to be very difficult. Without gesture, speaking is difficult, and we occasionally can’t find the words.Tversky was married to the deceased psychologist Amos Tversky, and helped Michael Lewis do his research for his book on Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman, "The Undoing Project."Her favorite books can be seen here.You can stream/download the full conversation, including the podcast extras on Apple iTunes, Overcast, Spotify, Google, Bloomberg and Stitcher. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here.Next week, we speak with Chris Davis, chairman and chief executive officer of Davis Selected Advisors LP, with more than $25 billion under management. Davis is also on the board of Coca Cola and is vice chairman of the American Museum of Natural History.To contact the author of this story: Barry Ritholtz at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Greiff at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Barry Ritholtz is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is chairman and chief investment officer of Ritholtz Wealth Management, and was previously chief market strategist at Maxim Group. He is the author of “Bailout Nation.”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's (MSFT) second-quarter fiscal 2020 results are likely to reflect momentum in Azure, robust Office 365 adoption, impressive LinkedIn growth and higher Surface devices revenues.
Google Cloud will be the cloud technology provider for Accenture’s INTIENT life sciences industry platform.
Alphabet's (GOOGL) focus on search, cloud and Waymo is likely to have aided fourth-quarter earnings. However, higher expenses and litigation charges are expected to have been headwinds.
(Bloomberg) -- U.S. tech giants including Alphabet Inc.’s Google led the way as corporations raised the amount of clean energy they bought in 2019 by about 40%. Moving forward, peer pressure by asset managers led by BlackRock Inc. could boost it even more.Corporations and public institutions globally acquired a record 19.5 gigawatts of clean energy through long-term power-supply agreements in 2019, easily beating a record set in 2018, according to a report Tuesday by BloombergNEF. Google topped the list with contracts for more than 2.7 gigawatts, roughly equaling the power of three nuclear reactors.In a letter to CEOs this month, BlackRock Chief Executive Larry Fink said his firm, with $7.4 trillion in assets under management, would prioritize climate change as a “defining factor in companies’ long-term prospects” and that a global climate emergency might upend business sooner than expected.“When investors like BlackRock make commitments, everyone below them doesn’t have a choice but to follow,” Kyle Harrison, the report’s lead author, said in an interview. At the same time, he said a wide range of companies are now “getting pressure from their investors, employees and from companies within their supply chain.”While tech companies dominated clean-energy procurement, a growing number of oil and gas companies are signing deals, including Occidental Petroleum Corp., Chevron Corp. and Energy Transfer Partners LP.The U.S. wasn’t the only growing market for power-supply agreements in 2019. Europe, the Middle East and Africa all had record years in 2019, according to the BloombergNEF report. In Latin America, which recorded three-fold growth, Brazil and Chile have emerged as top markets.“Corporations have purchased over 50GW of clean energy since 2008,” Jonas Rooze, lead sustainability analyst at BNEF, said in statement. “That is bigger than the power generation fleets of markets like Vietnam and Poland.”To contact the reporters on this story: Natalia Kniazhevich in New York at email@example.com;Brian Eckhouse in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Ryan at email@example.com, Reg Gale, Joe CarrollFor 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) -- A drill longer than the city’s tallest skyscraper has been constructed just outside Stockholm to build a tunnel for new power cables needed to meet soaring demand. Elektra, a 240-meter (787 feet) long specially built boring machine weighing more than 1,000 tons, will pierce through the city’s rock of granite and gneiss. Drilling the tunnel rather than the more common method of blasting will create less vibration. It will run below two of the city’s universities, the exclusive Ostermalm neighborhood and the Skeppsholmen island that houses a museum of modern art.The city of about 1 million people is urgently in need of more power capacity. The population is growing by about 40,000 every year. New residential areas are boosting electricity demand, while industrial customers including new server halls, are also increasing consumption. “We’re using more and more power and the power system have to handle new kinds of production and fast changes in the use of electricity,” said Rolf Axen, project manager for the tunnel at grid operator Svenska Kraftnat. “This is one of 50 projects for electrical distribution that is important to sustain the development of the Stockholm region.”The tunnel will be 13.4 kilometers long and will run about 50 to 100 meters below the surface. It will dip underground in Danderyd, one of the city’s most affluent areas, and surface at Hammarby Sjostad, south of the trendy Sodermalm island. The high-voltage cables will connect to already existing sub stations that will help spread the power locally.Elektra will drill about 100 meters per week on average and work is due to start on Feb. 1 and continue for four years. The tunnel itself will be 5 meters in diameter. The parts for the drill arrived in November on about 30 trucks from German manufacturer Herrenknecht AG and has been assembled on site. Elektra will use grippers to advance through the 5-diameter tunnel and will be powered by a long electricity cable. The whole project will be ready by 2027, costing about 3 billion Kronor ($310 million).To contact the author of this story: Lars Paulsson in London at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Reierson 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.
(Bloomberg) -- InterviewBit, a startup that offers online training for a career in programming, has raised $20 million from Tiger Global Management, Sequoia Capital India and others at a valuation of $110 million.The Bangalore-based outfit offers daily live-streamed classes to prepare aspiring software engineers for the notoriously competitive job interviews in their industry. It guides students with the help of remote personal mentors and, upon completion of training, looks to match them with available jobs, with no payment until they are employed. Its six-month coding bootcamp called Scaler Academy has received more than 200,000 applications since it launched in April.“India has a surfeit of engineering graduates but traditional colleges are not equipped to cater to the in-demand skills,” Abhimanyu Saxena, co-founder of InterviewBit said in a phone interview. “Companies face a huge challenge in hiring quality talent.”India has thousands of engineering colleges, but more than 80% of their graduates are deemed “unemployable” by tech companies as they lack the hands-on coding training or exposure to projects, according to a study by recruitment analysts Aspiring Minds last year. The country’s outsourcing industry employs millions, but they also need to be retrained in new skills such as artificial intelligence and mobile app development.Strong global demand for the latest software skills has seeded a novel crop of coding schools around Bangalore that offer to upgrade programming skills on a pay-after-placement basis.InterviewBit’s model makes it accessible to students and engineers without any geographical or financial constraints. Those who get placed pay a portion of their salary from the first two years to the startup. “Our most successful students come from unknown engineering colleges in smaller cities,” said Saxena.Coders from its seven batches, including one cohort in the U.S., have been placed at global technology companies including Amazon.com Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Alphabet Inc.The company will use the $20 million to scale up enrollment and launch in new markets.To contact the reporter on this story: Saritha Rai in Bangalore at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at email@example.com, Vlad SavovFor 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) -- Facebook Inc. started restricting employee travel to China as the deadly coronavirus continues to spread across the world’s most populous country, according to people familiar with the decision.The limits, which went into effect Monday, halt non-essential travel to China by all Facebook employees. If workers have to visit the country, they need specific approval. Facebook staff based in China, and those who recently returned from trips to the country, are also being told to work from home, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private communications. The company declined to comment.Honda Evacuates, Starbucks Stores Shut: Virus Impact on BusinessThe travel restrictions at the social media company are likely to impact its hardware division, which sells devices such as the Portal video chat hub and Oculus virtual reality headsets. Hardware requires frequent travel from the company’s Silicon Valley offices to China, where engineers and managers oversee product development, meet with suppliers and transport prototypes.Facebook’s current products likely won’t be impacted, but the move could cause engineering delays on future devices, one of the people said. The company is looking to other facilities that it has in Vietnam to pick up any work that can’t be done in China, the person added.While Facebook is one of the smaller hardware makers among the U.S. technology giants, its plight underscores the potential impact of the virus on the industry. The majority of Apple Inc.’s vast supply chain is in China and other parts of Asia. Amazon.com Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google also make their devices in the region.To contact the reporters on this story: Mark Gurman in Los Angeles at firstname.lastname@example.org;Kurt Wagner in San Francisco at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tom Giles at firstname.lastname@example.org, Alistair BarrFor 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.
Amazon stock has fallen over 4% in the last six months. It appears that investors are worried about Amazon's profit. But how long will Amazon stock stay stagnant as the e-commerce powerhouse spends to speed up its delivery?