Monthly Archives: April 2014

Tim Bradshaw

Twitter’s stock was heading towards a new all-time low after reporting results that beat forecasts on the financials but left Wall Street wanting more from user growth and engagement. Hannah Kuchler and Tim Bradshaw bring you live reaction and updates from the analyst call.  

Just weeks after internet security experts scrambled to patch up vulnerabilities exposed by the Heartbleed bug, a flaw has been found in Microsoft’s Internet Explorer software that is so serious the US department of homeland security is warning people and companies to avoid using the browser.

Should I be worried? Read more

Alibaba is taking a minority stake in China’s largest online video site, Youko Tudou, as it prepares for its own blockbuster initial public offering in the US.

Youko Tudou said on Monday that the Chinese e-commerce group, together with its founder Jack Ma’s Yunfeng Capital, would jointly invest $1.2bn in the video site.

Alibaba will hold 16.5 per cent stake in Youku after the deal, with Yunfeng holding 2 per cent. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Tim Cook onstage at an Apple launch (Reuters)

Apple just announced that its biggest new slate of product launches in years is finally arriving soon.

This declaration came not from a black-clad stage or rising on a spotlit podium, but buried in a regulatory filing following Wednesday’s quarterly earningsRead more

Sometimes it pays to be behind the times. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Apple returned to its old forecast-busting ways on Wednesday, reporting better-than-expected revenue and iPhone growth. Even though iPad sales underwhelmed, Wall Street cheered the second-quarter results with an 8 per cent spike in after-hours trading. Apple also added $30bn in new dividends and share buybacks to its existing $100bn capital return programme, alongside a seven-for-one stock split.
Tim Bradshaw and Sarah Mishkin bring live commentary from Apple’s conference call and reactions from the market.  

In a handy coincidence of scheduling, Apple and Facebook will both report earnings after the market closes on Wednesday.

The two Silicon Valley giants will give Wall Street a fast look at the state of the mobile and online advertising markets, at a time when tech valuations are facing growing questions from investors like David EinhornRead more

Tim Bradshaw

A cheeky Apple advertisement appeared in several newspapers on Tuesday. Above a vast array of solar panels, it read: “There are some ideas we want every company to copy.”

The ad ran not only during Apple’s latest bout of patent litigation against Samsung, which continues in a San Jose courtroom, but on Earth Day, an annual reminder of our environmental responsibilities.

Apple used Earth Day to launch a new video ad, ‘Better’, narrated by chief executive Tim Cook himself, and a new portion of its website dedicated to its green achievements. These include powering its data centres with 100 per cent renewable energy, as well as 120 of its retail stores.

But perhaps more remarkable is that Mr Cook let Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environmental initiatives, give an open and sometimes unscripted talk at Stanford University on Tuesday night. Read more

Hannah Kuchler

First it was McDonalds and their #McDstories, which became more about animal cruelty than burgers with friends, then it was #AskJPM Q&A session which was cancelled after it became more about mis-selling scandals and trading losses than investment questions.

Now it is the NYPD’s turn to feel Twitter’s wrath. The force tried to use the site to start a conversation, as social media marketers are prone to saying, about the city’s love for the police. But the tag #myNYPD was quickly adopted for far more photos of police brutality than selfies with the cops. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Lytro caused a lot of excitement among photography enthusiasts when it launched in 2011. Billed as the third evolution of the camera after film and digital, Lytro’s unique “light-field” sensor allowed snappers to “shoot first, focus later”, as well as other “computational photography” tricks such as shifting perspective or add 3D elements to an image after the photo is taken.

However, the Silicon Valley start-up’s first camera was aimed not at hardcore photographers, but at a mass market. The $500, flashlight-shaped device was described by the FT’s Chris Nuttall as “an amusement for now”, due to issues such as a small screen/viewfinder and counter-intuitive controls, even if he predicted the underlying technology was “likely to change photography radically in the long run”.

Three years and one CEO change later, Lytro is back with a new device, the Illum. It is aimed more directly at those snap-happy early adopters, professionals and “aspiring amateurs” who were most enthusiastic about its technology in the first place but perhaps found version one fell short of their hopes. Read more

Sarah Mishkin

Concerns about children’s privacy and security have prompted the closure of one education technology start-up backed by $100m from supporters including Bill Gates’ foundation. Read more

The initial public offering of Weibo, China’s answer to Twitter, has provoked a combination of downbeat hand wringing and gleeful hand rubbing about the effect of the global tech sell-off on new companies coming to market.

So are investors fair in how they’re pricing Weibo? The company’s shares were priced at $17 each, the bottom of the range, putting the group’s valuation at $3.8bn after raising more than double the amount it had hoped for earlier in the year. Read more

While older industries still struggle with the digital transition, those one step ahead are toiling with the mobile one. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

While Silicon Valley races ahead into a future filled with drones, robots and wearable technology, the rest of the US watches on with a mixture of hope and anxiety.

Americans are optimistic about the long-term prospects for the next 50 years of technological and scientific advances, according to a survey of 1,001 people by the Pew Research Center in February, but more nervous about the immediate future. Read more

China invented printing several centuries before Gutenberg’s mechanical press in Germany. Now a Chinese company in Shanghai appears to have stolen a march over Europe in the race to build the world’s first 3D printed house.

A Shanghai company, Shanghai WinSun Decoration Design Engineering Co, says it made 10 3D printed houses (see photos) each costing $4,800 each in less than 24 hours, according to 3ders, a 3D printing industry website.

 Read more

Twitter has announced the acquisition of Gnip – one of only two companies it originally gave access to the “firehose” of trillions of tweets – as the social media company pursues revenues through selling analytical services. Read more

The Heartbleed bug, a flaw discovered on encryption software used on about two-thirds of all websites, was created unintentionally, the programmer responsible has said.

Robin Seggelmann, a German programmer, described the flaw as the consequence of a “trivial” error in an update to OpenSSL, the software widely used to enable secure connections, writes Jeevan VasagarRead more

Richard Waters

It is nearly two years since Google took the wraps of Glass, its ambitious smart glasses project, and said it was aiming to put them on sale by the end of 2013. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Dropbox chief Drew Houston is preparing for life as a public company executive.

In an interview with the FT after Wednesday’s launch of Carousel, a new photo-sharing app, and a suite of other new products, Mr Houston didn’t even wait for the inevitable question about an initial public offering to address the topic.

“We will continue to surround the company with great advisors, board members and other folks who have public company experience,” he said. “I’m not worried about the tactical side of operating as a public company.” Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Greg Christie, the Apple designer who was a key part of the team behind the original iPhone, will leave the company later this year, a spokesman confirmed to the FT.

Apple blog 9to5Mac, which broke the story earlier on Wednesday, suggested that Mr Christie had fallen out with Sir Jonathan Ive, Apple’s senior vice president of design. Read more