• Xbox Series X is Microsoft’s next-gen console, arriving late-2020
    TechCrunch

    Xbox Series X is Microsoft’s next-gen console, arriving late-2020

    Xbox head Phil Spencer has a pretty long breakdown over on the the official blog. Additionally, our patented Variable Rate Shading (VRS) technology will allow developers to get even more out of the Xbox Series X GPU and our next-generation SSD will virtually eliminate load times and bring players into their gaming worlds faster than ever before.

  • Amazon Roundup: Government, re:Invent Conference, India, Other
    Zacks

    Amazon Roundup: Government, re:Invent Conference, India, Other

    Amazon had a big week with government issues, a host of new deals and announcements at its annual conference and developments in India.

  • Bloomberg

    A Startup Fired Its CEO for Expensing $76,120 at Strip Clubs

    (Bloomberg) -- Scott Lang, the new chief executive officer of Turvo Inc., wants to emphasize an important corporate policy at his startup: Employees may not entertain clients at strip clubs and certainly not bill those trips to the business. The rule is salient because his predecessor was fired for doing just that.The board accused the co-founder, Eric Gilmore, of expensing $76,120 at strip clubs over a three-year span and removed him as CEO in May, according to legal filings. Gilmore, 39, didn’t deny the accusations, but he sued the company, claiming the board didn’t follow the proper protocol for his termination. Turvo said it did, and they settled in September. Gilmore declined to comment through a spokesman.Lang, a former executive in the energy industry, joined Turvo just before Thanksgiving. The Silicon Valley startup makes software to help companies track the movement of freight and is backed by about $85 million in venture capital. In his first interview since taking the job, Lang said he’s focused on helping the company move past the scandal. When asked about trying to win over prospective clients at stripper joints, he said: “Never have. Never will.”The situation at Turvo, which hasn’t been previously reported, illustrates the steps some boards are taking to quietly address allegations of misconduct before they become public. The MeToo movement has claimed the jobs of many technology executives, such as Kris Duggan of Betterworks Systems Inc. and Andy Rubin of Essential Products Inc., and venture capitalists Justin Caldbeck and Shervin Pishevar. Often, the consequences only arrive after allegations are published in the news.Gilmore, a veteran of Microsoft Corp. and Coupons.com, started Turvo in 2014. Mubadala Investment Co., the Abu Dhabi-based sovereign wealth fund, led a $60 million investment in the Sunnyvale, California-based company last year. Soon after, Gilmore hired a new chief financial officer, who discovered a pattern of unusual charges from the CEO in a review of corporate spending.The stripper-related expenses spanned most of the company’s life, and Gilmore made no attempt to conceal them. Strip clubs represented more than half of the $125,000 in entertainment charges initially flagged by the CFO.At a hastily called meeting in May after the board learned of the expenses, directors from Mubadala and venture capital firms Felicis Ventures and Activant Capital told Gilmore he was out. They demanded he sign a separation agreement. Gilmore declined and argued the process violated company bylaws because the confrontation wasn’t at first presented as a formal board meeting and didn’t adhere to other rules. The board disagreed. Gilmore’s lawsuit over the dispute lasted three months. Terms of the settlement weren’t disclosed.Gilmore remains on the board and is the company’s largest shareholder, according to a person familiar with the matter who wasn’t authorized to discuss it publicly and asked not to be identified. Gilmore’s two co-founders still hold executive roles at Turvo, and there has been no suggestion they misused their expense accounts.The Turvo board selected Lang as the new CEO in the hope he could reinvigorate a company still grappling with a demoralizing situation. Lang, the former CEO of Silver Spring Networks, praised the 200-person team at Turvo for winning several big contracts recently and posting “massive” growth this year. He declined to provide details.To contact the author of this story: Sarah McBride in San Francisco at smcbride24@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Milian at mmilian@bloomberg.net, Molly SchuetzFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Energy Efficiency Is a Hot Problem for Big Tech’s Data Centers
    Bloomberg

    Energy Efficiency Is a Hot Problem for Big Tech’s Data Centers

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Electrons aren’t much of a growth industry in the U.S., the second-largest electricity market in the world after China. Electricity sales rose last year, after nearly a decade of being flat or falling slightly, but are still only up 3% since 2007. There is one market, though, where demand for electrons is booming: data centers. That power-hungry growth market, though, is also where some of the world’s biggest, most capitalized and most innovative companies are bringing their might to bear. Before getting into that innovation, though, there’s a crucial equation to consider: the power usage effectiveness ratio, or PUE. PUE is a measure of a data center’s energy efficiency — the ratio of total energy used divided by energy consumed specifically for information technology activities. The theoretical ideal PUE is 1, where 100% of electricity consumption goes toward useful computation. All the other stuff — power transformers, uninterruptible power supplies, lighting and especially cooling — uses power but doesn’t compute, and as a result raises a data center’s PUE. A 2016 Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory study listed what was, at the time, PUE for facilities at various scales: a server sitting in a room, a server in a closet, a “hyperscale” extremely large data center. The smaller the server, the higher its ratio and the lower its efficiency. For the smallest server spaces, the PUE is above 2, meaning that more than half of its energy use is for things other than computing. For hyperscale, the PUE is 1.2 — meaning that most of the energy is going to computation. Here are that same data, expressed a bit differently, to show a server or data center’s power consumption by use. Here you can see that the smallest applications used more power for cooling than for computation. But at hyperscale data centers, more than 80% of power consumption went to IT (servers, networking and storage), and only 13% went to cooling. But now, with so much computation happening in the cloud (and, in reality, in hyperscale data centers), it’s worth finding out what today’s PUEs are and just how close they can get to that theoretical ideal of 1.0. A recent Uptime Institute survey of 1,600 data center owners and operators found that 2019’s average PUE is 1.67, and that “improvements in data center facility energy efficiency have flattened out and even deteriorated slightly in the past two years.” That PUE means that 60% of data center electricity consumption is going to IT, and the rest to cooling, lighting and so on. However, some operators are doing much better than that. Google says that its data centers have a PUE of 1.1, with some centers going as low as 1.06. There’s some seasonality in play, particularly because most of Google’s data centers are in the Northern Hemisphere; its Singapore data center has the highest PUE and is the least efficient of its sites. That’s not surprising given Singapore is hot and humid year-round. One key way to lower the cooling demand for a data center is to cool only to the temperature at which the machines are comfortable, not to where humans are most comfortable. For Google, that’s a temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit. There’s another approach, and one that draws on computation itself: machine learning. Google unleashed its DeepMind machine learning platform on the problem of data center energy efficiency three years ago; last year, it effectively turned over control to its own artificial intelligence: In 2016, we jointly developed an AI-powered recommendation system to improve the energy efficiency of Google’s already highly-optimised data centres. Our thinking was simple: even minor improvements would provide significant energy savings and reduce CO2 emissions to help combat climate change.Now we’re taking this system to the next level: instead of human-implemented recommendations, our AI system is directly controlling data centre cooling, while remaining under the expert supervision of our data centre operators. This first-of-its-kind cloud-based control system is now safely delivering energy savings in multiple Google data centres.It seems likely that more of that sort of approach will be adopted by Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, IBM and other major cloud computing firms. Even with efficiency gains, data center electricity demand is voracious and growing; that growth has a number of implications for the power grid and for power utilities. The first is that many of these major consumers of electricity are also contracting for wind and solar power to meet their demand. The second is that, with many data centers clustering in locations such as Northern Virginia, data center loads are becoming a meaningful share of utility peak demand in a given service territory. Recent BloombergNEF research finds that data centers could make up 15% of Dominion Energy Inc.’s summer peak demand by 2024. Given that data center operators have every incentive to economize on electricity, utilities need to compete to provide service. Preferential — and confidential — contracts for power supply are one way to do that, with the result being that other rate payers bear the cost, as Bloomberg News reported last year. Gains in efficiency don’t mean that data center demand for electricity is going down. Their scale and growth is a testament to their power usage effectiveness. Their preferential contracts for electricity, on the other hand, feel like a testament to their effective usage of a different kind of power: buying power. Weekend readingChevron Corp.’s $10 billion to $11 billion impairment charge, related mostly to its Appalachian natural gas assets, “ushers in oil’s era of the sober-major.” Chevron has also called time on the Kitimat liquefied natural gas export plant in British Columbia, writing off years of development while also planning to sell its 50% stake. Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. has launched the world’s first liquefied hydrogen carrier. Tesla Inc. has lost its third general counsel in the course of a year. Vancouver-based Harbour Air Ltd.’s electric seaplane has taken flight. I looked at the environmental implications of electrifying aviation last month. Stanford University has released its 2019 Artificial Intelligence Index Report.  Venture capital fund Piva, funded by $250 million from Malaysia’s Petronas, has launched with a focus on energy and industry. Bloomberg Media will acquire CityLab, a news site covering “urban innovation and the future of cities.” Nomura Holdings Inc. will acquire sustainable technology and infrastructure boutique investment bank Greentech Capital Advisors. Hiro Mizuno, the chief investment officer of Japan’s $1.6 trillion Government Pension Investment Fund, has “embraced ESG principles so enthusiastically” that the fund will not award new mandates to managers without environmental, social and governance credentials. Considering the legacy of Xie Zhenhua, a key architect of the Paris Agreement and China’s climate negotiator for more than a decade. Greta Thunberg is Time Magazine’s Person of the Year. Get Sparklines delivered to your inbox. Sign up here.To contact the author of this story: Nathaniel Bullard at nbullard@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Brooke Sample at bsample1@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Nathaniel Bullard is a BloombergNEF energy analyst, covering technology and business model innovation and system-wide resource transitions.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • 3 Growth-Focused Cloud Stocks for Tech Investors to Buy for 2020
    Zacks

    3 Growth-Focused Cloud Stocks for Tech Investors to Buy for 2020

    We found three cloud-focused software stocks using our Zacks Stock Screener that investors might want to consider buying for 2020...

  • YouTube’s Music App Outpaces Spotify, Local Rivals in India
    Bloomberg

    YouTube’s Music App Outpaces Spotify, Local Rivals in India

    (Bloomberg) -- YouTube has signed up more than 800,000 subscribers for its paid services in India since debuting in March, according to people familiar with the matter, vaulting it past some competitors in one of the world’s fastest-growing media markets.The services have been growing faster than rival paid music offerings in India, including Spotify and local players Gaana and JioSaavn, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the subscriber data hasn’t been released. Apple Music also competes in the market, but it’s been tight-lipped about its subscriber figures.Gaana, owned by Times Internet, has more than 1 million paid subscribers, according to a representative. But it’s been around for almost a decade and has more than 125 million monthly users, who mostly use the free version of the service.YouTube has long struggled to to gets users to pay for its services, especially since the company’s main website is synonymous with free videos. But the Google division has started to gain traction, and the numbers out of India suggest it’s having particular success in the world’s second-most-populous country.YouTube sells two paid services in India: YouTube Music Premium and YouTube Premium. The music service offers a library of songs on-demand, much like Spotify, as well as the ability to download tracks, listen to music without ads and play tunes while using other apps. YouTube Premium offers the traditional YouTube video service without ads -- and the ability to play clips offline. But music is the driving force behind YouTube’s appeal, especially in India.Bhushan Kumar, the Bollywood Boss Behind YouTube’s Top ChannelThe country has emerged as a battleground for online music services, which are eager to sign up users in a country with more than 1.3 billion people. Unlike China, where online media services are tightly controlled by the government, India offers a similarly massive population without the same level of regulation.Western companies such as Apple Music, Spotify and YouTube compete with local services, and will soon contend with Resso, a platform from Chinese tech giant ByteDance.ByteDance is testing Resso in India and Indonesia before rolling out a paid version of the app next year. ByteDance’s short-form video app TikTok has more than 200 million users in India, enough to be a real challenger to YouTube and Instagram.Major PresenceBut YouTube already has a big presence in India, giving it an edge as it tries to get subscribers to pay fees. More than 265 million people use the free YouTube service in the country, making it YouTube’s largest market. India is also home to the channel with the most subscribers, T-Series, the country’s largest record label. Google has plowed resources into India in its bid to find new internet users and markets.The growth is also notable because India isn’t typically hospitable to paid services. The country is one of the poorer major economies, making its average citizen very sensitive to price. The leading free music services, Gaana and JioSaavn, have tens of millions of users, but few paying subscribers.Representatives for Gaana and JioSaavn didn’t immediately respond to emails seeking comment.Netflix Inc., the world’s most popular paid online video service, has had to cut its price to compete in the country. It introduced a cheaper, mobile-only plan in India earlier this year and said this week it’s testing other pricing models.Netflix Is Spending $420 Million on Indian Content, CEO SaysYouTube has convinced people to pay by selling its service at a low price -- less than $2 a month -- and offering special features to subscribers. People who want to listen to music while not actively using the app -- a popular feature known as background listening -- must pay for it. The other apps offer background listening for free.Spotify has said that its Indian service has outperformed its expectations so far, though most of its growth has been from users of its free service.(Updates with Gaana subscriber figures in third paragraph.)\--With assistance from Ragini Saxena.To contact the reporter on this story: Lucas Shaw in Los Angeles at lshaw31@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Nick Turner at nturner7@bloomberg.net, Dave McCombsFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Netflix, Disney, Apple and Amazon
    Zacks

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Netflix, Disney, Apple and Amazon

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Netflix, Disney, Apple and Amazon

  • PulteGroup, Container Store, Oracle, Adobe and Broadcom highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day
    Zacks

    PulteGroup, Container Store, Oracle, Adobe and Broadcom highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day

    PulteGroup, Container Store, Oracle, Adobe and Broadcom highlighted as Zacks Bull and Bear of the Day

  • AMD Boosts Gaming Experience, Launches Radeon RX 5500 XT
    Zacks

    AMD Boosts Gaming Experience, Launches Radeon RX 5500 XT

    Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) unveils Radeon RX 5500 XT graphics card, which is expected to enhance user gaming experience.

  • E*TRADE (ETFC) Up 2.5% as November DARTs, New Accounts Rise
    Zacks

    E*TRADE (ETFC) Up 2.5% as November DARTs, New Accounts Rise

    Steady rise in daily average revenue trades is likely to support E*TRADE's (ETFC) top-line growth.

  • Adobe (ADBE) Beats Earnings and Revenue Estimates in Q4
    Zacks

    Adobe (ADBE) Beats Earnings and Revenue Estimates in Q4

    Adobe's (ADBE) fiscal fourth-quarter results benefit from strong product portfolio and solid efforts for product innovation.

  • Thomson Reuters StreetEvents

    Edited Transcript of ADBE earnings conference call or presentation 12-Dec-19 10:00pm GMT

    Q4 2019 Adobe Systems Inc Earnings Call

  • Adobe Stock Rises 4%
    Investing.com

    Adobe Stock Rises 4%

    Investing.com - Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE) Stock rose by 3.72% to trade at $317.07 by 09:31 (14:31 GMT) on Friday on the NASDAQ exchange.

  • Investing.com

    Stocks - Adobe, iHeartMedia, Barclays Up in Premarket; Broadcom Down

    Investing.com -- Stocks in focus in premarket trade on Friday, 13th December.

  • Investing.com

    Stocks - U.S. Futures Push Higher on Trade, Brexit Hopes

    Investing.com -- U.S. stock markets hit new all-time highs overnight and were set to open only slightly below them on Friday, as a convincing win for Boris Johnson's Conservatives in the U.K. general election removed a key uncertainty over the Brexit process, adding to optimism generated on Thursday by reports of an imminent trade deal between the U.S. and China.

  • What's Next for GameStop (GME) Stock After Dismal Q3?
    Zacks

    What's Next for GameStop (GME) Stock After Dismal Q3?

    GameStop (GME) shares plummeted over 15% at one-point Wednesday as Wall Street widely sold off the stock after it reported its rough Q3 financial results.

  • Are Energy Stocks Hot Again?
    Oilprice.com

    Are Energy Stocks Hot Again?

    The ill-performing energy sector could be about to stage a major turnaround, but it won’t be the first time that contrarian investors get burned trying to play a rebound

  • Tech Earnings Beat After Hours: ORCL, ADBE, AVGO
    Zacks

    Tech Earnings Beat After Hours: ORCL, ADBE, AVGO

    A burst of earnings report activity has hit the tape after Thursday's closing bell, with positive results from Oracle, Adobe and Broadcom.

  • Adobe Systems (ADBE) Q4 Earnings and Revenues Surpass Estimates
    Zacks

    Adobe Systems (ADBE) Q4 Earnings and Revenues Surpass Estimates

    Adobe (ADBE) delivered earnings and revenue surprises of 1.33% and 0.75%, respectively, for the quarter ended November 2019. Do the numbers hold clues to what lies ahead for the stock?

  • FTC Eyes Suit to Block Facebook Plan to Merge Apps
    Bloomberg

    FTC Eyes Suit to Block Facebook Plan to Merge Apps

    (Bloomberg) -- U.S. antitrust enforcers are considering going to court to stop Facebook Inc.’s plan to merge technology systems so that users can communicate across the company’s apps, according to a person familiar with the matter.The Federal Trade Commission is studying whether to seek a court order to block the company’s effort to enable messaging among users of WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger, said the person, who declined to be named because the investigation is confidential.Facebook’s integration plan, announced in January, has come under criticism from those who say the move would make it harder to break up Facebook as part of any antitrust case against the company. The FTC, the U.S. Justice Department and a group of states are investigating whether Facebook has violated antitrust laws.FTC Chairman Joe Simons signaled he agreed with that view in an interview with Bloomberg in August. Asked how difficult a breakup of Facebook would be once the services had been well integrated, he said it would make the case “very messy.”“It’s hard,” he said. “It’s really hard.”Simons told Bloomberg at the time that he’s willing to go to court to seek a breakup of a tech company. Any decision by the FTC to sue would need a majority vote by the five-member commission.Facebook shares fell as much as 4% after the Wall Street Journal reported on the FTC’s deliberations. The shares fell 2.7% to $196.75 in New York.Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg wants to allow users of the messaging service on Instagram to chat with those using similar functions on WhatsApp and on the original Facebook site and app. Facebook says that would allow it to better view and control foreign election interference, the spread of terrorism and other content it deems bad. Currently users can’t communicate between services.The company has already begun to integrate messaging systems for Instagram, a photo app, with Facebook Messenger, Bloomberg has reported. The massive undertaking will stitch together the underlying technology and require corporate reorganization, but won’t change much about users’ interaction with the services.Critics including co-founder Chris Hughes have focused on Facebook’s ownership of the apps and its plans to knit them more tightly together. Such detractors have cast the integration as a source of danger to user privacy. They also say it would allow the company to further abuse its dominance and fend off enforcers’ attempts to curb its behavior.Facebook says it faces robust competition, even accounting for its ownership of the services.Many technological services are able to work together even when provided by different companies -- a concept known as interoperability. Users of Google’s email service, for instance, can easily communicate with friends who get their messages through Microsoft, and phones call one another regardless of wireless providers.Mobile chatting is not as well integrated, however. Those who study competition say that interoperability between rivals bolsters competition, but Facebook’s plan would allow the company’s apps to talk to one another rather than to outside services.The Justice Department has previously pushed back on the integration plan because it will involve encrypting Instagram and Messenger and make messages invisible to Facebook the way that already occurs on WhatsApp. The department, along with officials from Australia and the U.K., said in October that the company should pause its efforts until it can ensure lawful access to user communications. Facebook said in a letter released Tuesday that it rejected that call.The FTC’s investigation of Facebook, which became public in July, is examining in part whether the social media company’s acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp should be unwound even though they were previously approved by the agency.Advocates for aggressive antitrust action against Facebook, including Senator Elizabeth Warren, have argued both deals allowed Facebook to fend off emerging competition by acquiring platforms that posed a threat to its dominance. Warren has said she would seek to unwind both deals if elected president in 2020.(Updates with Facebook plan starting in fifth paragraph)\--With assistance from Kurt Wagner and Sarah Frier.To contact the reporters on this story: David McLaughlin in Washington at dmclaughlin9@bloomberg.net;Ben Brody in Washington, D.C. at btenerellabr@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at sforden@bloomberg.net, Paula DwyerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Adobe Reports Quarterly Sales That Beat Analyst Estimates
    Bloomberg

    Adobe Reports Quarterly Sales That Beat Analyst Estimates

    (Bloomberg) -- Adobe Inc. reported sales that topped Wall Street estimates, signaling strong demand for the company’s creative and marketing software.Revenue was $2.99 billion in the fiscal fourth quarter, the San Jose, California-based company said Thursday in a statement. Analysts, on average, expected $2.97 billion.Adobe shares rose about 3% in extended trading after closing at $305.96 Thursday in New York. The stock has climbed 35% this year.Chief Executive Officer Shantanu Narayen is trying to maintain sales growth of at least 20% to convince investors Adobe is worth its lofty valuation. To do so, he’s making acquisitions, including VR business Oculus Medium this month, and investing in new products, such as Photoshop for Apple Inc.’s iPad.“Fiscal 2019 was a phenomenal year for Adobe as we exceeded $11 billion in revenue -- a significant milestone for the company,” Narayen said in prepared remarks for the company’s earnings call with analysts. “Our record revenue and EPS performance in 2019 makes us one of the largest, most diversified and profitable software companies in the world.”Despite the upbeat reception from investors, Adobe projected it will slip below the 20% growth threshold in fiscal 2020 with revenue of about $13.15 billion. Sales will increase 17% in the first half of the year, and 18% in the second half, Chief Financial Officer John Murphy said in the prepared remarks.“Adobe is about to become the first large cap software company in the SaaS era to decelerate below the 20% revenue growth threshold,” Canaccord analyst Richard Davis wrote in a note ahead of the report.In the fiscal fourth quarter, marketing software sales rose 24% to $859 million. Adobe said the unit will grow 15%, year-over-year, in the current quarter.Products from Marketo, a marketing company Adobe acquired in 2018, saw more momentum among mid-sized clients, Murphy said in the prepared remarks. Executives said in September that Adobe would invest more money to boost sales in the unit, which at that time wasn’t growing as fast as anticipated.Revenue from the creative and document cloud division, which includes Photoshop, climbed 22% to $2.08 billion in the quarter and is projected to increase 19% in the current period.(Updates with comments from CEO in the fifth paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Nico Grant in San Francisco at ngrant20@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, Andrew Pollack, Molly SchuetzFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.