April 2015 archive

Weekly#112
    • Apple latest Q results (WSJ)
      • Led by the larger-display iPhones it introduced last fall, Apple on Monday said it sold 61.2 million iPhones in the three months ended March 28, up 40% from the year-earlier period.
      • The average selling price of an iPhone during the latest quarter was $659, up more than $60 compared with a year earlier.
      • In the six months since Apple introduced the new iPhones, the company’s revenue increased by more than $29 billion, compared with the year-ago period. That is roughly equal to Nike Inc.’s annual revenue in 2014.
      • gross margin, a closely watched measure of profitability reflecting the percentage of revenue that remains after manufacturing costs, was 40.8%, above its estimated range of 38.5% to 39.5%
      • At the end of March, Apple’s cash totaled $193.5 billion, up from $178 billion at the end of December. That is greater than the market capitalization of all but 15 other companies in the S&P 500.
  • Build 2015: Keynote Highlights

  • Salesforce World Tour Chicago
  • European VC Investment in Q1 2015 (WSJ)
    • €285 million
      The largest fund of the quarter was HV Holtzbrinck Ventures Fund VI which accounted for 33% of the total amount raised for 1Q 2015.
    • €2.6 billion
      The amount European companies raised in 345 deals during 1Q 2015, an increase of 41% in the amount raised from 4Q 2014 despite a 5% slide in the number of deals completed.
    • 1st Place
      Germany was the most favored destination for equity financing during 1Q 2015, receiving €921 million across 64 deals. The country took 35% of all equity financing for the quarter, tripling its 4Q 2014 investment total.
  • Selfie Arm (Business Insider)
  • 10 things humans are doing right now to reach Mars (Business Insider)

  • How Sony Makes Money Off Apple’s iPhone (WSJ)
    The Japanese company is the world’s largest supplier of image sensors in digital cameras. To meet surging demand, Sony plans to invest $375 million in its image-sensor factories on top of nearly $900 million announced earlier this year.

 





 


 




 




Weekly#111
    • The European Patent Office (EPO) has announced its finalists for the 2015 European Inventor Awards, honoring brilliant inventions from a range of scientific fields. (QZ)
    • Companies spend more than $300 billion on servers, software and IT services each year, but growth in those markets is flat, said Richard Villars, an analyst at IDC.

      The infrastructure-services market, which Amazon dominates, doubled in 2014 to more than $9 billion, and is expected to expand to $16 billion in 2016. “It’s clearly where companies are spending money to transform their business,” said Mr. Villars.

      According to Amazon, AWS makes up the bulk of that category, which accounted for $1.67 billion in net sales during the fourth quarter of 2014, and $4.5 billion for the year.
      (WSJ)

    • Netflix subscribers streamed 10 billion hours last quarter,that’s roughly 55 hours per subscriber, per month.
      First Quarter Earning Reports [PDF] (QZ)
    • How Makerspaces Help Local Economies (The Atlantic)
      The first is the availability of “hacker” or makerspaces. There are some 2,000 of them around the world
    • Google Fi Project

    • WhatsApp now has 800 million monthly active users, continuing a pace of growth that may put the mobile messaging app on track to hit one billion users later this year. (WSJ)
    • For much of the early 2000s, the price of a solar panel or module hovered around $4 per watt. …
      ….Then, from 2007 to 2014, the price of crystalline silicon modules dropped from $4 per watt to $0.50 per watt, all but ending the development of thin films…..
      ….Ten years from now we could easily see the cost of solar modules dropping to 25 cents per watt, or roughly half their current cost (QZ)
    • In World First, Scientists Genetically Modify Human Embryos (Discover Magazine)
    • Airbnb Ad – Never A Stranger

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Weekly#110
  • For a More Creative Brain, Travel (The Atlantic)
    New sounds, smells, language, tastes, sensations, and sights spark different synapses in the brain and may have the potential to revitalize the mind.
  • IMF World Economic Outlook (WEO) Growth: Short- and Long-Term Factors, Chapter 3 [PDF]
  • Virtual-Reality Projects Get Hollywood Treatment (WSJ)
    Directors like Steven Spielberg are creating content for immersive offerings ahead of consumer headset push 
  • Jawbone Puts Mobile Payments Into New Up4 Fitness Band (WSJ)
    The Up4 will be the first Jawbone band to include an NFC chip, and that chip will be dedicated to mobile payments.
  • Netflix Inc. added a better-than-expected 4.88 million subscribers in the March quarter, as the streaming service sacrificed some profits to keep up its aggressive international expansion.

    Investors cheered the subscriber growth, which topped Netflix’s own forecast for 4.05 million additions. Including customers signed up for free trials, Netflix now has more than 62 million subscribers world-wide. (WSJ)

  • ‘Grand Theft Auto V’ PC Version Benchmarked Across 14 Nvidia And AMD Graphics Cards (Forbes)
  • 5 Moleskine Hacks To Boost Your Productivity (Medium)
  • How to Track the Team’s Mood with a Niko-niko Calendar (Agile Trail)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly#109
  • Google Wants to Be Handier for Handymen (WSJ)
    Google  is planning a service to connect users with plumbers, electricians, roofers and other home-service providers, according to two people familiar with the matter.
  • Apple Watch and Beats Music Unite in Pulse-Activated Playlist App, recommend tracks playing nearby based on changes in your pulse (PSFK)
  • The electric grid’s latest threat? Rooftop solar cells (QZ)
    Power-generating panels, called solar photovoltaics (PV), represent the fastest-growing source of electric power in the United States. In percentage terms, installed PV has grown four-fold over the past several years, and costs have fallen as rapidly as installations have risen.
  • Amazon Hints at Smart Home Future Through Echo Device (WSJ)
    The company is adding new capabilities to its Wi-Fi-connected speaker and virtual assistant, such as the ability to remotely operate lights and appliances. With just voice commands, for example, someone in bed could turn a television on and turn off the lights. Amazon informed Echo owners about the new services in an email Wednesday.
  • Android Creator Andy Rubin Launching Playground Global (WSJ)
    The creator of Android, the world’s largest mobile operating system, is returning to his roots in hardware.Mr. Rubin said Playground had raised $48 million from investors including Google, Hewlett-Packard Co., electronics manufacturer Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., and other tech companies. Playground won’t invest in startups, but will take equity stakes in return for its support.

 

 

Weekly#108

 

  • Tesla’s secret breakthrough home battery will be announced at the end of April (BGR)

The battery has apparently been in testing in 230 houses in California, with 100 more Tesla Stationary Batteries being placed in homes out of the state.

Interestingly, one tester operated such a battery for a year and a half from his garage. According to Chowdry, a 10kWh battery could cost $13,000 with a 50% rebate from PG&E. The buyer who talked to the analyst purchased his unit for $1,500 down, followed by 120 monthly installments (10 years) of $15 each.

  • Comcast’s new broadband service is twice as fast as Google Fiber (Engadget)
  • Comcast has drawn a new battle line against Google Fiber by launching a 2Gbps fiber broadband service called Gigabit Pro. It arrives next month in Atlanta and will be available in 18 million homes across the US by the end of the year.
  • BBC releases 10-episode Doctor Who box set as a $12 BitTorrent Bundle (VentureBeat)

The BBC launched an exclusive BitTorrent Bundle today to mark the 10-year anniversary of the new Doctor Who, spanning 10 of the series’ best episodes as well as video commentary from the 12th Doctor, Peter Capaldi. You can download A Decade of the Doctor now for $12.

  • Google Lab Puts a Time Limit on Innovations (WSJ)
    • Mobile-focused projects get two years to prove themselves; hiring mostly outside experts
    • Google is one of the world’s great innovators and invests heavily in research and development. Spending on R&D soared 38% last year to $9.8 billion, outpacing percentage-wise the company’s 19% increase in revenue.
  • IBM to Invest $3 Billion in Sensor-Data Unit (WSJ)
  • International Business Machines Corp. plans to invest $3 billion over four years on a new business helping customers gather and analyze the flood of data from sensor-equipped devices and smartphones
  • UBS to Open Blockchain Research Lab in London (WSJ)
    Swiss banking giant UBS is to open a technology lab in London to explore how blockchain technology can be used in financial services.

    The lab, set to open this month and occupy a dozen desks at Canary Wharf-based fintech accelerator space Level39 – a hub in London for financial technology startups– will bring together technology experts from the bank and the wider fintech community, UBS said.

  • Why China May Have the Most Factory Robots in the World by 2017 (WSJ)

    China is already the world’s largest market for industrial robots—sales of the machines last year grew 54% from 2013. The nation is expected to have more factory robots than any other country on earth by 2017, according to the German-based International Federation of Robotics.

    The trade group says one reason China will continue booming is because it has relatively low “robot density.” China has about 30 robots for every 10,000 factory workers. In Germany, the density is 10 times higher. In Japan, it’s 11 times higher.

  • Microsoft ended support for Windows XP almost a year ago… and it still has more users than Windows 8 (BGR)

  • U.S. Smartphone Use in 2015 (PEW)
  • 10% of Americans own a smartphone but do not have broadband at home, and 15% own a smartphone but say that they have a limited number of options for going online other than their cell phone. Those with relatively low income and educational attainment levels, younger adults, and non-whites are especially likely to be “smartphone-dependent.”

  • Smartphones are widely used for navigating numerous important life activities, from researching a health condition to accessing educational resources. Lower-income and “smartphone-dependent” users are especially likely to turn to their phones for navigating job and employment resources.