By Deepa Seetharaman SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc posted a much larger-than-expected loss in the second quarter as it continues its rapid pace of investment in new businesses such as digital content and consumer electronics. Amazon's stock price has dropped 10 percent so far in 2014, with investors leery of betting on its long-term growth at the expense of little to no profit. Amazon is investing heavily in new businesses and hardware products, as it prepares to take on major tech rivals from Apple Inc and Google Inc to Netflix. Chief Financial Officer Tom Szkutak said Amazon had a "tremendous amount of opportunities" and its investments were "certainly impacting short-term results." The company is spending more than $100 million on original video content in the third quarter, a substantial increase compared to last year and the second quarter, Szkutak said.
By Chuck Mikolajczak NEW YORK (Reuters) - In the days after its infamously mishandled initial public offering in May 2012, it looked as if Facebook would struggle to become a must-own for fund managers. The gains represent a reversal of fortune for the social media company.
By Julia Fioretti BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Google's GOOGL.O handling of "right to be forgotten" requests from European citizens came under fire by regulators after the search engine company restricted the removal of Internet links to European sites only, a person familiar with the matter said. Regulators quizzed Google over its decision to remove search results only from its European search engines such as google.co.uk, which means that anyone can easily access the same information by switching to the widely used google.com, said the source, who was present at the meeting. The European Union's top court in May ruled that people have a right to request that years-old personal information that is no longer relevant be removed from Internet search results. Google has so far approved more than half of roughly 90,000 incoming requests, sought additional information in about 15 percent of cases, and rejected around 30 percent of them, according to a source close to the company.
China Telecom Corp Ltd will start selling Microsoft Corp's Xbox One gaming console in China from September through an exclusive contract, the country's third-largest telecommunications company said in a statement on Friday. The launch date and price have not yet been decided, China Telecom spokesman Ivan Wong told Reuters by telephone. The Xbox One will be the first gaming console to be released in mainland China since the government banned console sales in 2000, citing games' effects on mental health. In September last year, Microsoft reached a deal with Chinese internet TV set-top box maker BesTV New Media Co Ltd to form a joint venture to manufacture the consoles in Shanghai's Free Trade Zone.
By Nate Raymond NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Thursday expressed concern over a proposed $450 million settlement of claims Apple Inc conspired with five publishers to fix e-book prices, saying its provisions could drastically reduce money paid to consumers depending on appeals. U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan said she found "most troubling" a clause requiring Apple to pay only $70 million if an appeals court reversed her finding that the company is liable for antitrust violations and sent it back to her for further proceedings. Speaking on a teleconference, Cote questioned if that would be fair and what might happen if the appeals court reversed her ruling on a minor issue. She also took issue with the lack of any requirement for Apple to pay interest while the appeals go forward.
By Tom Hals WILMINGTON Del. (Reuters) - Nortel Networks Inc, the U.S. unit of defunct Canadian telecom company Nortel Networks Corp, has agreed to pay up to about $1 billion in interest that has accrued on the $3.9 billion it owes to its U.S. bondholders, a court filing showed. Thursday’s settlement comes as Nortel’s bankrupt units in Canada and Europe are fighting with the U.S. unit over how to divide $7.3 billion raised by liquidating the global telecommunications company. The settlement, if approved by U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Kevin Gross in Wilmington, Delaware, could affect Nortel retirees in Canada and the United Kingdom. They argued that the bondholders should get $90 million in interest, or no interest at all. Any funds that are left over in Nortel’s U.S. bankruptcy after paying off the bondholders and other U.S. creditors could be used to help to make up for pension shortfalls in Canada and the United Kingdom. Under the proposed settlement, bondholders would be entitled to post-petition interest of $876 million, potentially increasing to as much as $1.01 billion if Nortel has not repaid them by June 30 next year. Nortel said the settlement will help speed the resolution of its bankruptcy.
Google has started to collect medical data from volunteers as part of an ambitious project designed to build a database of records that show what a healthy human being should be. The project, developed by Google's experimental Google X wing and called Baseline Study, sees the company first harvesting anonymous genetic and molecular information from 175 people. According to The Wall Street Journal, Baseline Study will soon draw information from thousands more in a bid to create a picture of a person in perfect health. Project Baseline will collect genetic and molecular data The project is designed to pull together a huge amount of data that will not only allow medical professionals to detect and treat major health issues such as heart disease and cancer earlier, but will also enable them to detect trends and patterns in human health, making medicine more about the prevention of illness rather than the cure.
Sense reached its Kickstarter goal of $100,000 in just seven hours, becoming a new Kickstarter star on its way to almost $400,000 in pledges with 28 days left in its crowdfunding campaign. Developed by Hello, Sense is an advanced sleep-tracking gadget that aims to improve our time in bed. “Sense lets you know how you are sleeping; what is affecting your sleep and how to correct the bad; what the ideal environment for you when sleeping is and how to achieve that; helps you to fall asleep soundly, as well as waking you up in the morning at the right point in your sleep cycle to avoid feeling terrible,” the company says. The Sense system consists of a Sense ball-like device
Taiwan's Acer Inc saw quarter-on-quarter shipments growth that exceeded the PC industry average in the April-June period, the company's chief executive said. The beleaguered computer maker, which eked out a net profit in the first quarter after three straight quarters of losses, has turned a corner and will remain "on track" in the third quarter, chief executive Jason Chen told reporters. The comments were reported by Taiwanese media on Friday and confirmed to Reuters by a company representative. Acer will report its second-quarter earnings in the coming weeks.
Buyers looking to score a brand new HTC One mini 2 from Verizon will have to look for the HTC One remix in the carrier’s inventory, as Big Red decided to have a special name for HTC’s latest mini smartphone. To further mark its territory, Verizon has plastered its logo all over the front and back of the phone. FROM EARLIER: HTC One mini 2 review The HTC handset is available starting today for just $49.99 on a new two-year contract with Verizon or for $22.49 per month for 20 months when purchased with Verizon Edge. The full price of the handset is $449.99, in case the other options aren’t interesting enough. The HTC One remix is not a top-of-the-line Android
By Noel Randewich SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc's new "Fire" smartphone contains chips from Qualcomm Inc, NXP Semiconductors NV, and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, according to repair and teardown specialists iFixit, which pried one open on Thursday. The Fire phone also houses chips from Synaptics Inc and Skyworks Solutions Inc, said the repair outfit, which made a name for itself taking apart devices like Apple Inc's iPhone and identifying its internal components.
The “Coolest” cooler is a very successful Kickstarter project that has so far raised almost $7 million, or about 14,000% its initial goal of $50,000, with KickTraq stats saying the campaign could end up raising more than $21.7 million by August 29 when it ends, assuming it’ll continue to draw backers at the same rate. FROM EARLIER: This cool ‘Coolest’ cooler just passed $4M on Kickstarter with more than a month to go To reach the number, the Coolest cooler has to keep raising an average of $410,020 per day or so, data from the site suggests, until the deadline. The cheapest cooler costs $185 on Kickstarter, and will arrive only in February next year packed with many additional features compared to regular coolers. Meanwhile, the average
Do you remember the past? Hollywood is really hoping that you do — it's much too difficult to appeal to human beings on a shared emotional level. Much easier to simply make reference to a toy popular when the largest movie-consuming demographic was young and hope that draws in the millions. This obsession with nostalgia has been particularly pronounced in recent years, neatly emphasized by the upcoming release of a gritty-fied movie version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the success of Michael Bay's brain-melting Transformers franchise.
Do you know who's not a fan of the Federal Communication Commission's proposal to let internet service providers offer different speeds to online services? Major League Baseball. In a letter to the FCC last week, the league's digital group argued that the most recent open internet proposal could do more harm than good to consumers and upstart businesses, and likened the move to "rolling the dice." "Fast lanes would serve only one purpose: for Broadband ISPs to receive an economic windfall," the league wrote in a letter to the FCC last week. "American consumers would be worse off as the costs of fast lanes are passed along to them in new fees or charges where there were none, or higher fees or charges where they existed." It went on say that the changes would make it more difficult for "start-up entrepreneurs and innovators" that want to build things.
(Reuters) - Pandora Media Inc forecast current quarter adjusted profit below analysts' estimates as it plans to plow money back into the business. Analysts on average were expecting an 8 cents per share in profit on revenue of $234.6 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Pandora Chief Financial Officer Mike Herring said in an interview that adjusted profit forecast was because the company plans to "reinvest aggressively." Pandora faces stiff competition from Spotify, Apple Inc's Beats online streaming service, Google Inc and Amazon.com Inc in the fast-growing music streaming business as downloads decline. "That said, there has been for years and we have continued to grow market share." Advertising revenue, where Pandora makes the bulk of its money, jumped 39 percent to $177.3 million in the second quarter helped by strong mobile advertising revenue growth.
We all wish that Halo 5: Guardians could be done in time for the holiday season this year, but 343 Industries and Microsoft are doing everything they can to tide us over in the meantime. At San Diego Comic-Con on Wednesday, Microsoft took the stage to show off the first footage of Halo: Nightfall, an original television series based on the game franchise which will begin airing this fall. “In science fiction, we’re always searching for new frontiers. We’re drawn to the unknown,” said Ridley Scott, executive producer on the show. “With Halo: Nightfall, we’re pioneering a new medium in terms of interactive storytelling on Xbox. It’s going to be fun for long-time fans to see how the worlds come
Anyone with a compatible console can now download and play the beta version of Destiny, the next video game from Halo creators Bungie. The early trial version of the game lets players create a character to blast both computer-controlled aliens and other players in a multiplayer arena, and can be downloaded on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, in addition to PS3 and Xbox 360. To play, you'll need a PlayStation Plus account or an Xbox Live Gold subscription. The beta began on July 17th on PS4 and PS3, but Xbox One and 360 owners had to wait a week before their version of the trial started on July 23rd.
A visit to the Hot Wheels booth at Comic Con's exhibition floor will give visitors a look at a life-size car that looks just like Darth Vader's iconic helmet. Hot Wheels went all out with the car, giving it all the Star Wars touches you could think of: Sith lightsaber-style exhaust pipes, Imperial insignias in the wheels, and even Vader's life support panel. The Darth Vader Car is actually a modified Chevy Corvette C5, with the Darth helmet comprised of fiberglass that sits atop the car's frame.
In a surprise appearance at Comic-Con, the director of The Dark Knight trilogy and Inception says that his latest film is his grandest in scope. One of the film's executive producers is the theoretical physicist Kip Thorne, who gave Nolan extensive guidance on how wormholes could work — a hint at how the film's characters will accomplish their interstellar travel. Nolan was joined on stage by the film's star, Matthew McConaughey, who reiterated what was previously disclosed about the plot: that it involves his character, an astronaut named Cooper, and his efforts to find another planet for humanity to live on after earth becomes uninhabitable. A new trailer shown to the Comic-Con crowd showed McConaughey and co-star Anne Hathaway, who plays a fellow astronaut, as they hunt for an inhabitable planet.
What if your smartphone shipped with 1TB of memory, which would be not only be able to store all the digital content you want to carry with you at all times, but would also be faster and more reliable? Researchers from Rice University are already working on such technology, MIT’s Technology Review reports, having discovered a more practical way to mass-produce it. Called resistive random access memory (RRAM), the memory is already being developed by some companies, but it’s not an easy or affordable process. However, Rice scientists have figured out how to make RRAM at room temperature and using far lower voltages. More importantly, they say they can store 1TB of data in a chip that’s about the size
Jerry Seinfeld has confirmed that he is in talks to bring his iconic comedy series Seinfeld to Netflix. Speaking in an AMA question and answer session on Reddit, the comedian replied "conversations are presently taking place" when asked if the hit show, created by Seinfeld himself and Curb Your Enthusiasm star Larry David, would be brought to the streaming service. In addition to confirming that his show could soon be on its way to Netflix, Seinfeld used the Reddit AMA to reminisce on his comedy career, describing the making of the now-classic comedy series that bears his name. The comedian said one of his most memorable Seinfeld scenes came when Jerry Stiller as George Costanza's father challenged Julia Louis-Dreyfus' Elaine to a fight, denied a rumor that every episode of the show featured a Superman reference, and dropped the bombshell that he never really drank coffee in the 1990s.
Last February, rock-and-roll legend Chubby Checker sued the companies, asking for $500,000 while claiming the third-party app called the Chubby Checker "adversely affects Chubby Checker's brand and value." The app itself, which was first released in 2006, would estimate penis length from whatever shoe size was inputted. Nonetheless, Chubby Checker — whose real name is Ernest Evans — went after the companies, arguing that the app infringed on a number of his trademarks.
BGR recently reviewed LG’s new flagship G3, which just launched last week in the United States. We called the phone Android’s new king, supplanting Samsung’s lackluster Galaxy S5, which has been something of a disappointment for many consumers and for Samsung’s bottom line. While LG has a long way to go before it catches up to Samsung in terms of shipments, the company on Thursday reported record smartphone sales for the second quarter. FROM EARLIER: LG G3 review: Android has a new king LG posted a June-quarter net profit of $400 million on revenue across all divisions that totaled $14.9 billion. The company said mobile sales rose 16% on-year to $3.5 billion on record smartphone shipments that came in at 14.5 million
Qlik Technologies Inc forecast current-quarter revenue largely above Wall Street expectations, citing strong demand for its business analytics software. Qlik's shares rose more than 8 percent after markets closed. The company's flagship product, QlikView, helps companies to organize vast amounts of data in the form of reports, charts and infographics. Customers include American Apparel Inc, Coca-Cola Co and healthcare company Omnicare Inc. Chief Executive Lars Björk said "continued strong demand for QlikView", combined with Thursday's launch of the company's Qlik Sense software, would drive sales in a growing market for self-service visualization and data discovery.
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