The damaging fall-out from emails leaked after the Sony Pictures cyber attack has spread to the technology industry, with details of Snapchat‘s business plan exposed in messages reported to be found in the inbox of Michael Lynton, Sony Entertainment CEO and Snapchat board member.
Evan Spiegel, Snapchat‘s chief executive, has reacted angrily to having what he described as his “business plans” and “secrets” spilled in an industry that places a high value on stealth. Read more
Jan Koum, WhatsApp’s chief executive officer and Facebook’s newest board member, apologised today for harassing an ex-girlfriend in a series of incidents that led to a restraining order being taken out against him.
Mr Koum‘s ex-girlfriend said he verbally and physically threatened her, harassed her at work and followed her through the campus of her community college. In court documents, filed in 1996 but discovered by Bloomberg, she also complained of “sexual harassment”. Read more
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is among the new investors in Lookout, a San Francisco-based mobile security company that just pulled in the largest fundraising by a cyber security company so far this year.
As Amazon promised to be “relentless” in its pursuit of selling everything, Bezos appears to being equally eager to make personal investments in almost every industry. Here are some – but not all – of the investments he has made through his vehicle Bezos Expeditions.
Media: Bezos’ most high profile recent investment was his purchase of the Washington Post, the DC-based newspaper renowned for its role in breaking the news of the Watergate scandal. But he has fingers in other media pies too: in 2013, he took a stake in Business Insider, the loud mouthed financial news site fond of slideshows, and back in 2008 he invested in Twitter, the social media site beloved by journalists. He also has investments in Vessel, a video platform, and Next Door, a social network for neighbours. Read more
Apple beat earnings expectations but disappointed investors with its revenue forecast for next quarter, scuppering hopes that the share price could rapidly return to its all-time high of $100. Shares have dipped 1 per cent in after hours trading in New York on the back of this lower-than-expected guidance. However, muted sales of the iPhone and iPad in Apple’s third quarter did not prevent it from beating analysts’ earnings forecasts. Earnings of $1.28 per share compared favourably with analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.23, with gross margins reaching 39.4 per cent, a sharp increase over the prior year.
Join the FT’s Tim Bradshaw and Hannah Kuchler as they live blog the earnings call of the world’s largest company by market capitalisation.
The news that Facebook manipulated its news feed to analyse the impact on users’ emotional expressions has angered many who believe they should have been told they were part of a psychology experiment.
The study of more than 689,000 Facebook users, conducted over a week in 2012, found those who were exposed to fewer positive stories in the feed were more likely to write negative posts and vice versa. People felt worried the billion plus social network was trying to manipulate their emotions, coming as it does after years of conflicts over privacy with the social network. Read more
The FT gathered experts on cloud security on Twitter on Tuesday to discuss how to protect confidential corporate data as companies move it into the cheaper, and often more convenient, cloud.
We started by asking to what extent companies are moving away from US-based cloud providers in the wake of the revelations of an mass surveillance programme by the NSA? The experts were divided: Read more
Twitter has acquired video start-up Snappy TV as part of its bid to dominate the second screen, taking money from advertisers who want to reach people watching TV while they are fiddling with their smartphones.
The messaging platform bought Snappy TV for an undisclosed sum, bringing the company’s video tools in house at Twitter for brands and media partners to use to clip and edit video just after it is recorded to distribute online.
Twitter promotes two main ways to use video. Firstly, encouraging marketers to buy adverts that echo their TV ads to ensure the message sticks as it tries to dominate digital advertising around live events such as the World Cup and the Oscars. Secondly, it is working with TV networks through its Amplify partnerships with TV networks to show live clips to persuade people to tune in. Read more
Facebook has finally launched its latest answer to Snapchat, releasing Slingshot after Poke, its previous attempt at ephemeral messaging was withdrawn from the app store in May.
The world’s largest social network is trying to plug any hole in its dominance – it bought Instagram to shore up its place in photo-sharing, WhatsApp to expand its messaging and it attempted to buy Snapchat late last year.
When that project to buy the hottest new thing for teenagers failed, and its own usage amongst younger teens began to decline, it turned to its Creative Labs team to try to make its own at home. Read more
It is the week before a major Apple announcement, and like a scrooge before Christmas, Samsung tried to spoil its rival’s party on Wednesday. Read more
Facebook has unveiled a new feature which allows it to takeover a smartphone’s microphone to identify and track what songs a user is listening to and what TV programmes people are watching. Read more
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
Twitter unveiled the first sign of its much awaited new design on Tuesday, to a near-universal reaction that it looked just like Facebook. Read more
Facebook has just spent $2bn on start-up Oculus VR, in a bet that virtual reality headsets will be the next big social platform after smartphones. The world’s largest social network thinks virtual reality will become part of everyone’s daily life, being used in everything from entertainment to education. This is Facebook’s second big deal of the year, as Mr Zuckerberg goes on an acquisition spree to help maintain its dominance. Join Hannah Kuchler and Tim Bradshaw for a live blog of the call where Mr Zuckerberg is expected to explain the sense behind the deal.
Facebook’s chief security officer said on Tuesday the social network has united with its Silicon Valley competitors to improve cyber security, after a recent report suggested the National Security Agency may have posed as the social network to infect target’s computers.
Joe Sullivan said that Facebook was working hard to “make sure the system is robust enough that everyone should be coming in the front door with legal process and not getting information any other way”. Read more
By Hannah Kuchler and Tim Bradshaw
Facebook unveiled the sleek, unfolding pages of its Paper app last month to appreciative oohs and aahs from reviewers, marking a new era for the social network as design becomes more central to companies up and down Silicon Valley.
Paper was developed with a small unit of designers who wanted to break away from the site’s basic ‘blue and white’ look to create an app inspired by the National Geographic magazine. Read more
Nok Nok? Who’s there? Usually someone with a terribly easy to guess password, a cyber criminal’s dream. But perhaps not for long.
Lenovo, the Chinese PC and phone manufacturer, has invested in Nok Nok Labs, a cyber security start up which aims to transform the industry by replacing passwords with a new technology which works with everything from fingerprints to voice recognition.
Nok Nok Labs raised $16.5m from Lenovo as well as venture capitalists DCM and Onset Ventures on Thursday to create a platform which will support the latest authentication technology. Lenovo will join the board of Nok Nok – and the assumption is, use the new tech in its devices from laptops to smartphones. Read more