• Appeals court rules in favor of Google, Apple, Facebook and Twitter in anti-conservative bias suit
    TechCrunch

    Appeals court rules in favor of Google, Apple, Facebook and Twitter in anti-conservative bias suit

    The same day Donald Trump took to Twitter to threaten to regulate or shut down social media sites, the U.S. appeals court in Washington, D.C. dismissed a lawsuit accusing top tech companies of silencing conservative voices. Filed in 2018 by nonprofit Freedom Watch and right-wing gadfly Laura Loomer, the suit accused Apple, Facebook, Twitter and Google of stifling First Amendment rights.

  • Docker expands relationship with Microsoft to ease developer experience across platforms
    TechCrunch

    Docker expands relationship with Microsoft to ease developer experience across platforms

    When Docker sold off its enterprise division to Mirantis last fall, that didn't mark the end of the company. In fact, Docker still exists and has refocused as a cloud-native developer tools vendor. Today it announced an expanded partnership with Microsoft around simplifying running Docker containers in Azure.

  • Apple begins offering Macs with custom configurations in India
    TechCrunch

    Apple begins offering Macs with custom configurations in India

    Apple is finally giving customers in India the ability to order customized versions of iMac, MacBook Air, Mac Mini and other Mac computers. The Cupertino-giant has started to offer a full range of the Mac portfolio with configure-to-order (CTO) or build-to-order (BTO) option in India, allowing customers in the country to request specific custom needs such as additional memory, storage or a more powerful graphics card when they purchase a computer. Customers in India, a key overseas market for American technology giants, have long requested this feature, which Apple offers in several regions.

  • Google outlines plan to get some employees back to the office
    TechCrunch

    Google outlines plan to get some employees back to the office

    In a blog post, Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai gave an overview of the company's plan to return its workforce to some semblance of normalcy — or at least a new normal. Google will begin opening some of its office buildings in various cities starting on July 6, allowing a small amount of its employees who need a physical workspace "the opportunity to return on a limited, rotating basis." If all goes well in its initial efforts, Google will scale that 10% up to 30% around September "which would mean most people who want to come in could do so on a limited basis, while still prioritizing those who need to come in," according to Pichai.

  • Google sees resurgence in state-backed hacking, phishing related to COVID-19
    Reuters

    Google sees resurgence in state-backed hacking, phishing related to COVID-19

    Google said on Wednesday its Threat Analysis Group saw new activity from "hack-for-hire" firms, many based in India, that have been creating Gmail accounts spoofing the World Health Organization (WHO). Google said it continued to see attacks from hackers on medical and healthcare professionals, including WHO employees.

  • Bloomberg

    SoftBank’s Vision Fund Is Planning to Cut 10% of Staff

    (Bloomberg) -- SoftBank Group Corp.’s Vision Fund is planning deep cuts in staffing after reporting about $18 billion in losses from the declining value of its startups, according to people familiar with the matter.The reductions could affect about 10% of the fund’s workforce of roughly 500, said two of the people, who asked not to be identified discussing personnel decisions. The Vision Fund’s headquarters are in London, with additional operations in Tokyo and California. The cuts will be across all levels of staff, said one person.A spokesman for the Vision Fund declined to comment.SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son and his $100 billion Vision Fund changed the tech industry by handing out enormous checks to relatively unproven startups. But the fund went from SoftBank’s main profit contributor a year ago to its biggest drag on earnings. It lost 1.9 trillion yen ($17.7 billion) last fiscal year after writing down the value of investments, including WeWork and Uber Technologies Inc.Son originally said he hoped to raise a new Vision Fund every two to three years, but he has conceded he can’t attract moneynow because of the poor performance. The fund, led by Rajeev Misra, operates as a SoftBank affiliate with most of the money coming from limited partners, led by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Co.“It makes sense that SoftBank is cutting positions at the Vision Fund as they are in an extremely difficult situation, and they may start targeting highly paid workers to cut costs,” said Koji Hirai, head of M&A advisory firm Kachitas Corp. in Tokyo.The Vision Fund grew rapidly after launch three years ago as Misra recruited scores of people from the finance industry, including many of his former colleagues from Deutsche Bank. Among its managing partners are several of the German bank’s ex-employees, including Colin Fan, former co-head of its investment banking division.The fund also set up an unusual compensation structure that includes a $5 billion loan to employees. The debt is swapped for equity in the fund and generates profit when deals make money -- and losses when they don’t, scaled by seniority, people familiar with the matter have said. The poor performance so far along with the layoffs may prompt some employees to look for other positions.“One side-effect is that the best people at SoftBank may exit to find better funds,” said Hirai. “If so, their fund business may become even worse, sliding down from a slope.”The Vision Fund has struggled since WeWork botched its efforts to go public last year and SoftBank stepped in to bail the company out. The Vision Fund currently manages more than 80 portfolio companies, but Son expects about 15 of the fund’s startups will likely go bankrupt while predicting another 15 will thrive.“Vision Fund’s results are not something to be proud of,” Son said earlier this month as he announced record losses. “If the results are bad, you can’t raise money from investors. Things aren’t good, that’s why we are investing with our own money.”The fund has already unwound some investments, including selling a nearly 50% stake in dog-walking startup Wag Labs back to the company last year. Son has said he plans to sell off about $42 billion in assets to finance stock buybacks and pay down debt.SoftBank disclosed it’s selling shares in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and is in talks to sell about $20 billion of T-Mobile US Inc., Bloomberg News reported. It’s also exploring selling a minority stake in industrial software maker OSIsoft LLC that could be worth $1.5 billion.SoftBank shares, after plummeting in March, have recovered and are little changed for the year. The stock rose just more than 1% in Tokyo trading.One emerging question is how Alibaba -- SoftBank’s most valuable holding -- will be affected by the clash between the U.S. and China. A bill just approved by the U.S. Senate could force Chinese companies like Alibaba to stop trading their shares on U.S. exchanges.“The big picture is SoftBank is caught up with U.S.-China conflict right now, and SoftBank may need to conduct a drastic restructuring if Alibaba was delisted from New York,” said Hirai. “Its main banks and the capital markets are anxiously awaiting an outcome for the situation.”(Updates with additional details starting in the first paragraph.)For 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.

  • Sony Is Planning a PS5 Conference for as Early as Next Week
    Bloomberg

    Sony Is Planning a PS5 Conference for as Early as Next Week

    (Bloomberg) -- Sony Corp. is planning a digital event to showcase games for its next-generation PlayStation 5 console that may take place as early as next week, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter.The virtual event could be held June 3, though some people also cautioned that plans have been in flux and that the date may change. Other PlayStation 5 events may follow in the coming weeks and months, and Sony is not expected to reveal every essential detail on the console during its first presentation.Read more: Sony Is Struggling With PlayStation 5 Price Due to Costly PartsA Sony spokesperson declined to comment. The company’s shares were largely unchanged in early Thursday trading in Tokyo.The Japanese tech giant has only let out a trickle of information on the PlayStation 5 so far, which the company says remains on track for release this holiday season despite the Covid-19 pandemic. Chief Executive Officer Kenichiro Yoshida said earlier this month that Sony “will soon be announcing a strong lineup of PS5 games.”June is traditionally highlighted by the biggest games industry conference, E3 in Los Angeles, but that was canceled this year due to the spread of the virus. In response, Sony and many game publishers are refashioning their promotional plans around streamed online presentations.Read more: Sony Is Said to Limit PlayStation 5 Output in Its First YearWhile only a small circle within Sony are privy to the appearance of the PS5 console, the controller has been shared with outside developers and, fearing it wouldn’t be able to control leaks, the company made it public in early April.Fans have been eager to hear about the lineup of video games that will launch alongside the console and later.Microsoft Corp., Sony’s most direct rival in the console wars, has put out regular streams and updates about the upcoming Xbox Series X, which is also planned for release this fall.(Updates with chart and share action in third paragraph)For 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.

  • U.S. state of Arizona files consumer fraud lawsuit against Google
    Reuters

    U.S. state of Arizona files consumer fraud lawsuit against Google

    "When consumers try to opt out of Google's collection of location data, the company is continuing to find misleading ways to obtain information and use it for profit," Brnovich said in an interview with the Washington Post. In February, New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas sued Google, alleging that its educational software collects young students' personal information without the required parental consent.

  • Why Trump will relish a war with Twitter
    Yahoo Finance

    Why Trump will relish a war with Twitter

    Trump is addicted to Twitter, and there's no alternative. But he needs enemies, too.

  • Facebook, Twitter, Apple, and Google Win Dismissal of Anti-Conservative Bias Suit
    Motley Fool

    Facebook, Twitter, Apple, and Google Win Dismissal of Anti-Conservative Bias Suit

    Appeals court judges unanimously reaffirmed that online platforms' rules against hate speech don't violate the First Amendment, because tech companies aren't part of the government.

  • Why Shares of Spirit AeroSystems Were Up Today
    Motley Fool

    Why Shares of Spirit AeroSystems Were Up Today

    Shares of Spirit AeroSystems (NYSE: SPR) gained 10.7% on Wednesday, as key customer Boeing (NYSE: BA) restarted its 737 Max production line. Spirit's fortunes are closely tied to Boeing, its former parent, and the restarted production is good news for beleaguered Spirit shares. Spirit AeroSystems makes the fuselages for the 737 Max, and the company was having troubles well before the COVID-19 pandemic, due to the aircraft being grounded after a pair of fatal crashes.

  • Bloomberg

    Apple Buys Machine-Learning Startup to Improve Data Used in Siri

    (Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. bought machine-learning startup Inductiv Inc., adding to more than a dozen AI-related acquisitions by the technology giant in the past few years.The engineering team from Waterloo, Ontario-based Inductiv joined Apple in recent weeks to work on Siri, machine learning and data science. Apple confirmed the deal, saying it “buys smaller technology companies from time to time and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”Inductiv developed technology that uses artificial intelligence to automate the task of identifying and correcting errors in data. Having clean data is important for machine learning, a popular and powerful type of AI that helps software improve with less human intervention.The work falls under the category of data science, a key element of Apple’s broader machine-learning strategy. In 2018, the company brought on several engineers from Silicon Valley Data Science, a consulting firm that focuses on this field.John Giannandrea, the Apple executive in charge of Siri and machine learning, has been upgrading the underlying technology that goes into the Siri digital assistant and other AI-powered products from the company.Read more: Big Tech Swallows Most of the Hot AI StartupsInductiv was co-founded by machine-learning professors from Stanford University, the University of Waterloo and the University of Wisconsin, Madison.The professor from Stanford, Christopher Ré, previously co-founded another AI company, Lattice Data, that was bought by Apple in 2017. It’s unclear if Ré, or the other Inductiv co-founders, Theodoros Rekatsinas and Ihab Ilyas, have joined Apple.Apple has bought several other AI and data companies in recent years, including Xnor.ai, Tuplejump, Laserlike, Turi and Perceptio.This year, the company bought Voysis to boost speech recognition in Siri, virtual-reality startup NextVR, and the popular iPhone weather app Dark Sky.For 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.

  • Stock Market Wrap-Up: Why Tesla's Price Cuts and Beyond Meat's Stock Drop Shouldn't Worry You
    Motley Fool

    Stock Market Wrap-Up: Why Tesla's Price Cuts and Beyond Meat's Stock Drop Shouldn't Worry You

    As we've seen recently, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) had larger gains than the broader market, but the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) and Nasdaq Composite (NASDAQINDEX: ^IXIC) also managed to pick up ground. Among individual stocks, Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) shares were surprisingly little changed, even after the electric automaker announced a move that made some fear that vehicle demand could be weaker than previously believed. Tesla shares were up a fraction of a percent Wednesday following news overnight that the automaker had chosen to cut prices of some its vehicles.

  • Boeing resumes 737 MAX production at low rate
    Reuters

    Boeing resumes 737 MAX production at low rate

    The aircraft maker's best-selling plane was grounded in March 2019 after the second fatal 737 MAX crash in five months. Boeing declined to say what the current production rate is. Boeing said last month it expected to resume 737 MAX deliveries in the third quarter following regulatory approvals, with production restarting at low rates in the second quarter before gradually increasing to 31 per month in 2021.

  • 3 Semiconductor Stocks to Buy for the Coronavirus Reopening Rally
    Zacks

    3 Semiconductor Stocks to Buy for the Coronavirus Reopening Rally

    We screened for strong chip stocks that investors might want to consider buying for the coronavirus rally and beyond...

  • Business Wire

    Carlos A. Gómez Named Treasurer of The Walt Disney Company

    Carlos A. Gómez has been named Senior Vice President and Treasurer of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS), it was announced today by Christine M. McCarthy, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Gómez will report directly to Ms. McCarthy. He succeeds Jonathan S. Headley who, as announced in February, is retiring after 24 years with the Company.

  • Bloomberg

    Workday Revenue Jumps on Robust Demand for Cloud Applications

    (Bloomberg) -- Workday Inc. reported quarterly revenue that topped $1 billion for the first time, beating analyst estimates and continuing growth for the maker of human resources software despite the economic challenges of the pandemic. Shares rose more than 7% in extended trading.Revenue increased 23% to $1.02 billion in the fiscal first quarter, the Pleasanton, California-based company said Wednesday in a statement. On average, analysts expected $994 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. After some expenses, profit was 44 cents a share, compared with analyst projections of 47 cents.Workday expects subscription revenue for the fiscal year of $3.67 billion to $3.69 billion, down from as much as $3.77 billion. In the second quarter, subscription revenue will be as much as $915 million, the company said.Chief Executive Officer Aneel Bhusri has targeted a goal of $10 billion in annual revenue, from $3.6 billion the past fiscal year. The company continues to expand its human resources, accounting and planning software to offer the capabilities of established rivals Oracle Corp. and SAP SE, but delivered through the cloud. Before Workday reported results, some analysts were concerned that corporate customers aren’t interested in pursuing large software deals and complicated implementations during the Covid-19 pandemic.“The cloud is playing a critical role in today’s climate, with organizations leaning on Workday to pivot -- whether it’s helping employees learn virtually, closing books remotely, or scenario planning to determine what path to take,” Bhusri said in the statement.Workday also announced two partnerships Wednesday. One, with Microsoft Corp., will run Workday’s Adaptive Planning on the Azure cloud. Microsoft’s finance team will start using the product for its internal needs and both companies will collaborate on integrating their software products for mutual customers. The second partnership, with Salesforce.com Inc., aims to help organizations safely return to their offices in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.For 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.

  • Alibaba Hunts for a Million Influencers Keen to Make Big Money
    Bloomberg

    Alibaba Hunts for a Million Influencers Keen to Make Big Money

    (Bloomberg) -- Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. pioneered the use of live-streaming hosts to sell everything from lipstick to smartphones in China. Now, the e-commerce giant wants to repeat that success globally with the help of a million influencers on forums from TikTok to Instagram.AliExpress, the company’s online marketplace for shoppers outside China, is on the hunt for social media personalities to hawk wares on its online malls around the world. It’s looking to attract more than 100,000 content creators this year to its recently launched AliExpress Connect, rising to over a million in three years. The platform offers a matchmaking service, helping pair social media influencers with brands and merchants looking to market their products. Its initial focus is Europe, where Russia, France, Spain and Poland comprise the majority of users.Alibaba hopes to replicate the success it’s enjoyed with so-called key opinion leaders driving sales on its China online marketplace Taobao. “For both Taobao and AliExpress, social content is a way to diversify offerings, but not to generate revenue,” Yuan Yuan, head of operations for AliExpress, told Bloomberg News. Influencers will help users stick with the platform instead of just making a one-time purchase. “The goal is to accumulate users, keep them there and encourage them to remain active.”China’s largest e-commerce company currently gets just a fraction of its retail revenue from outside its home country, but it’s harbored bigger international ambitions for years. The move marks Alibaba’s latest global push and comes at a time when Covid-19 is fueling an unprecedented boom in social media. The company’s rivals, including TikTok proprietor ByteDance Ltd. and Tencent-backed Pinduoduo Inc., are playing catch-up in live streaming and other means of social commerce championed by the Taobao Live app.Global social giants like Facebook Inc. have also added new features that support online shopping. In the U.S., more than 75 million social-network users aged 14 or older are expected to make at least one online purchase this year, up over 17% from 2019, according to research firm eMarketer.Influencers and content creators can sign up for Connect using TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and other social accounts. They can then solicit assignments from AliExpress merchants seeking help in promoting their goods or services. This gives the influencer options, from merely reposting the seller’s social media posts to creating original videos. Commission fees can be based on the sales the influencers generate.AliExpress is one of two Alibaba online bazaars for international buyers, the other being the Southeast-Asia-focused Lazada. AliExpress merchants are mainly small, export-oriented businesses in China, but global brands like Samsung and Oral-B have increasingly set up shop on the platform, targeting regional markets. Its top consumer markets include Russia, the U.S., Brazil and Spain.Yuan said AliExpress aims to help at least 100 of its army of a million influencers earn an annual income of more than $1 million within three years. “Only if they can make money will they be motivated to create good content for our platform,” she said.For 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.

  • Shorter Scans and Better Image Quality: Deep Learning-Based MR Image Reconstruction Tech From GE Healthcare Now FDA Cleared
    Business Wire

    Shorter Scans and Better Image Quality: Deep Learning-Based MR Image Reconstruction Tech From GE Healthcare Now FDA Cleared

    GE Healthcare today announced U.S. FDA 510(k) clearance of AIR Recon DL. This pioneering technology, using a deep learning-based neural network, improves the patient experience through shorter scan times while also increasing diagnostic confidence with better image quality across all anatomies. AIR Recon DL, developed on GE Healthcare’s Edison intelligence platform, seamlessly integrates into the clinical workflow to generate AIR Recon DL images in real-time at the operator’s console.

  • The 5G Dream Could Turn Into a Nightmare for Verizon
    Motley Fool

    The 5G Dream Could Turn Into a Nightmare for Verizon

    Many believe Verizon will extend its 4G lead into the new 5G world. Unfortunately, there are factors that suggest Big Red's 5G dream may turn into a nightmare for investors.

  • Why NIO Stock Is Rising Today
    Motley Fool

    Why NIO Stock Is Rising Today

    What happened Shares of Chinese electric-vehicle maker NIO (NYSE: NIO) were trading higher amid a broad-based rally on Wednesday afternoon, after a JPMorgan analyst upgraded the stock ahead of Thursday's earnings report.

  • One Analyst Thinks Facebook Shops Could Make Facebook a $275 Stock: Is He Right?
    Motley Fool

    One Analyst Thinks Facebook Shops Could Make Facebook a $275 Stock: Is He Right?

    Last week, Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) rolled out Shops in a bid to help small business owners set up a digital storefronts on its social media platforms. The company said setting up a Shop will be free to users, with Facebook taking a small cut of each transaction. This additional foray into e-commerce provides Facebook with the potential for significant upside, according to Citi analyst Jason Bazinet, who raised the firm's price target to $275 from $245, implying 22% upside from the current price.

  • Reuters

    WRAPUP 1-New wave of U.S. layoffs feared as coronavirus pain deepens

    Job cuts by U.S. state and local governments whose budgets have been crushed fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and more second-wave layoffs in the private sector likely contributed last week to a 10th straight week of more than 2 million Americans seeking unemployment benefits. The Labor Department's weekly jobless claims report on Thursday, the most timely data on the economy's health, is also expected to show the number of people on jobless benefits hitting a new record high in mid-May. "I am concerned that we are seeing a second round of private sector layoffs that, coupled with a rising number of public sector cut backs is driving up the number of people unemployed," said Joel Naroff, chief economist at Naroff Economics in Holland, Pennsylvania.

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