Facebook’s total first-quarter revenue was US$3.54 billion, up more than 40 percent from a year earlier, the company reported Wednesday. That was a bit less than the consensus analyst estimate of $3.56 billion, as polled by Thomson Reuters.
With a bounty of personal data on its billion-plus members — many of whom now log in from their smartphones — Facebook’s mobile ad business has become a juggernaut.
During the quarter, which ended March 31, Facebook grew its mobile ad sales by 59 percent to $2.59 billion. After going public in mid-2012, Facebook faced questions from investors over its ability to grow its business on mobile, but the company eventually dispelled those doubts.
Net income came in at $512 million, down 20 percent, while earnings per share dropped 28 percent to $0.18.
On a pro forma basis, which excludes certain costs, such as share-based compensation and related payroll tax expenses, Facebook had earnings per share of $0.42, up from $0.35 last year, and beating the analyst consensus estimate of $0.40.
“This was a strong start to the year,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement.
The company’s costs and expenses rose by more than 80 percent from a year earlier, to $2.61 billion.
The number of people who log in monthly to Facebook grew by 13 percent, to 1.44 billion. And the number of those people who log in from a mobile device grew faster, by 24 percent to 1.25 billion.
In addition to its primary mobile app, Facebook now operates a suite of apps including Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp. But its flagship app generates by far the most mobile ad sales.
Facebook began placing ads in Instagram in 2013, but by its own admission has done so slowly and gradually. Neither Messenger nor WhatsApp carry ads yet.
IBM IS bringing its QRadar Security Intelligence technology to the cloud in a bid to help companies prioritize major security threats more quickly and free up critical resources to fight cyber attacks.
The offering is available through a cloud-based software-as-a-service model, and comes with an IBM Security Managed Services option for security experts with more advanced skills.
QRadar Security Intelligence comes in the form of two services. The first is IBM Security Intelligence on Cloud, which the firm said will help organisations determine whether security-related events are simple anomalies or actual threats.
“Built as a cloud service using IBM QRadar, enterprises can quickly correlate security event data with threat information from over 500 supported data sources for devices, systems and applications,” IBM explained.
“This is complemented by more than 1,500 pre-defined reports for use cases such as compliance, vulnerability management and security incident response.”
The second service is Intelligent Log Management on Cloud designed to simplify security and compliance data collection.
This is also powered by IBM QRadar technology, and uses analytics and a hosted, multi-tenant technology to integrate with existing infrastructure, working with real-time correlation and anomaly detection capabilities.
“Through support for more than 400 platforms, security managers can also capture logs from nearly any device in their security operation,” the firm added.
IBM said that the announcement is a reaction to the findings in the 2014 IBM Cyber Index, which revealed that organisations across the world deal with an average of 91 million potential security events every year, a problem that creates huge amounts of data that needs to be stored and analysed.
The cloud software announcement arrives just after IBM posted its Q1 2015 financial results, demonstrating strong growth in the cloud.
The results showed cloud revenues up 75 percent to $3.8bn from $2.3bn in the first quarter of 2014.
However, IBM posted an overall quarterly revenue decline of 12 percent owing to the effects of the strong dollar.
Revenues were $19.6bn for Q1, a figure that would have been equal to the $22.5bn that IBM made last year were it not for the effects of the dollar and moves to divest unprofitable parts of the business.
Overall the revenue drove IBM to profits of $2.4bn for the quarter. The company said that this was down five percent on the same period last year, although at that time IBM also reported profits of $2.4bn, suggesting that the original figure was raised at some point.
As part of the announcement, Citrix said that products including NetScaler and XenServer will be coming to OpenStack.
Citrix has been a contributor to OpenStack for some time, but this sponsorship announcement sees the company ramping up its involvement and integrating its core product lines.
Klaus Oestermann, senior vice president and general manager of delivery networks at Citrix, said: “We’re pleased to formally sponsor the OpenStack Foundation to help drive cloud interoperability standards.
“Citrix products like NetScaler, through the recently announced NetScaler Control Centre, and XenServer are already integrated with OpenStack.
“Our move to support the OpenStack community reflects the great customer and partner demand for Citrix to bring the value of our cloud and networking infrastructure products to customers running OpenStack.”
Citrix already supports the Apache Software Foundation and the Linux Foundation, and has pledged to continue investing in Apache CloudStack and CloudPlatform in addition to its work with OpenStack.
Jonathan Bryce, executive director of the OpenStack Foundation, added: “Diversity and choice are two powerful drivers behind the success of OpenStack and the growing list of companies that have chosen OpenStack as their infrastructure platform.
“We’re glad to see Citrix become a corporate sponsor, and we look forward to the contributions they can bring to the community as it continues driving cloud infrastructure innovation and software maturity.”
Canonical announced on Tuesday that the 15.04 edition of Ubuntu OpenStack will be the first commercially available product to be based on OpenStack Kilo, which is due for release at the end of the month.
Early adopters will get the release candidate, and the full version will follow days after.
Citrix is joining the alliance at an interesting time. Earlier this year, it was revealed that HP has become the largest single contributor to the current OpenStack version, Juno, overtaking Red Hat.
A number of alliances are forming within the OpenStack community to try and gain the upper hand. HP has buddied up with telecoms companies including AT&T and BT, while Juniper and Mirantis have joined forces, though the latter has confirmed that this is not a snub to VMWare.
Citrix coming aboard with its existing ties to Apache and Linux seems to represent another example of the cross-pollination of the OpenStack movement across the industry, with companies clamoring to back it either as a first or second line of opportunity.
Internet of Things (IoT) will be the semiconductor industry’s next growth driver, according to TSMC president and co-CEO CC Wei.
Wei believes that the healthcare chip market will reach US$6.8 billion in production value in 2017, said Wei. Meanwhile a family home could feature more than 500 smart devices by 2020.
He said that mobile devices have already replaced PCs as the major growth driver of the semiconductor market and in 2014, about 1.88 billion mobile phones were shipped with 1.2 billion of them being smartphones.
Technology is also enabling devices to progress. Taking PC as an example, the penetration rate of the devices has been pushed up thanks to more advanced chip-making technologies, Wei said.
Worldwide semiconductor R&D expenditures were as high as US$56 billion in 2013, with the US semiconductor industry contributing the most at US$33 billion. Taiwan’s R&D expenditures for the year came to about an impressive US$5 billion, Wei noted.
Among the industry’s top-10 R&D spenders in 2014, two Taiwan-based companies were listed, Wei disclosed. TSMC’s R&D spending for the year came to US$1.87 billion allowing the company to climb to fifth place in the ranking, while MediaTek moved up to ninth with total R&D expenditures of US$1.43 billion.
Defense contractor Raytheon is acquiring Websense, which it will combine with its own security unit to create a new, separately operated business to battle criminal networks and state-funded espionage.
Today’s Internet attacks “are becoming increasingly more sophisticated and are being perpetuated by state sponsored groups, criminal organizations, hacktivists and insiders,” said David Wajsgras, president of Raytheon intelligence, information and services business, in a conference call Monday announcing the acquisition. “Our goal is to provide defense-grade solutions that allow our customers defend against [attacks], detect them early, decide how to counter and defeat such attacks in real-time.”
Raytheon plans to spend $1.9 billion in a deal to get 80 percent ownership of the new business based on Websense. It will then create the new company by combining Websense with its own cyberproducts business unit, valued at approximately $400 million. Vista Equity Partners, Websense’s current owner, will purchase a 20 percent stake in the new, combined company, for approximately $335 million.
The joint venture will be a separately operated Raytheon business segment. John McCormack, current CEO of Websense, will serve as chief executive of the new business. The name of the new company will be disclosed when the deal closes, by the end of the second quarter, the companies said.
Websense’s Triton line of secure Web gateway products guard internal networks against malware, data theft and Internet-based snooping. The new company will combine Triton with Raytheon’s own SureView portfolio of security products, which can watch for unusual user activity, protect against known vulnerability attacks, and detect hidden anomalies using machine-learning technologies.
The two companies also have a complementary customer base. Raytheon has focused largely on serving U.S. defense agencies — it generated sales of $23 billion in 2014, which was mostly from large-scale systems work. Websense has a strong presence in the commercial enterprise market. It serves 21,000 customers and has relationships with over 2,200 channel partners.
The Internet company has hired advisers to help it evaluate options for the stake, Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer told investors on a conference call on Tuesday. It will not be included in the planned spin-off of its stake in China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, she said.
Investors have been urging Mayer to monetize the Yahoo Japan stake separately, after she announced plans to spin off the Alibaba stake in January, which could be worth $40 billion.
The advisers will help Yahoo “determine the most promising opportunities to maximize value” for the Yahoo Japan stake, said Mayer.
But Wall Street remained broadly cautious about the plan.
“They are taking the slow train, stressing the process,” said Colin Gillis, an analyst BGC Partners, who warned that a deal, if any, could be a long way down the line. “Engaging advisers doesn’t mean spinning it out.”
Yahoo owns about 35 percent of Yahoo Japan Corp, which has a market value of almost $25 billion on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Japanese internet company SoftBank Corp is the biggest shareholder, with about 36 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Last month Yahoo shareholder Starboard Value LP said the Alibaba spin-off was a “good first step” but urged Yahoo to also spin off its Yahoo Japan stake in a tax-efficient manner. Starboard did not reply to a request for comment.
Chip designer ARM reported a 36 per cent rise in first-quarter net profit amid strong demand for its technology.
The British company said that expects 2015 revenue to meet the expectations of the cocaine nose jobs of Wall Street.
ARM recorded net profit of $126.7 million for the three months to March 31 and revenue rose 22 percent.
Shares in ARM, which makes money by licensing its designs to chip makers, then collecting royalty revenue when the chips ship, were up by more than 5 per cent on the back of the news.
Processor-royalty revenue in dollar terms, a much-watched figure, rose 31 per cent on the year, the company said, adding that it has signed 30 processor licenses for a broad range of applications.
ARM CEO Simon Segars said: As the world becomes more digital and more connected, we continue to see an increase in the demand for ARM’s smart and energy-efficient technology, which is driving both our licensing and royalty revenues.@
Processor-licensing revenue was down 2 per cent in the quarter, which was in line with expectations following strong growth previously. Chief Financial Officer Tim Score told journalists he expects it to grow in future quarters.
Aside from smartphones and tablets, ARM said it is also seeing demand for its processors to be used for servers and networking and for the “Internet of Things”, a term used for the growing tendency for more items to be wirelessly connected.
ARM expects to benefit from the growth of the Internet of Things in areas such as health and in cars, Score said.
PayPal has detailed a number of biometric security solutions that it believes could replace the conventional password.
The biometric solutions include embedded chip tattoos, vein recognition and even ingestible technology that would mean people no longer need to worry about fraudsters nicking their sensitive information or digital dosh.
The payments firm is flogging the idea via a presentation at various technology conferences entitled Kill all Passwords, where it claims that the rise of hacking and phishing targeting online banking services will lead people to use tighter security.
This next step, PayPal says, includes inserting security devices into the body to allow the use of unique internal characteristics to log-in to accounts.
It sounds a little far-fetched, but PayPal’s global head of developer advocacy, Jonathan LeBlanc, who is currently giving these presentations, doesn’t seem to think so.
He listed the most frequently used passwords, including ’123456′, ‘password’, ’12345678′, ‘qwerty’ and ‘abc123′, stating that a huge 40 percent of people have a password included in the top 100 passwords list and 14 percent have a password from the most used 10.
“As long as passwords remain the standard method for identifying your users on the web, people will still continue to use ‘letmein’ or ‘password123′ for their secure log-in, and will continue to be shocked when their accounts become compromised,” he said.
LeBlanc said that, after working with developers to uncover and trial new forms of secure account log-in, embeddable, injectable and ingestible devices are the future for mobile payments.
Devices that use some of this technology already exist, such as those used for medical applications including glucose detection, blood pressure monitoring and digestive health.
LeBlanc even went as far as to say that more recently developed online interactions using external bodily methods, such as fingerprints, used by the likes of Apple for its iPhones and iPads, are “antiquated” and will be phased out before services like PayPal will consider using them.
Sounding like something from a sci-fi film, another idea of PayPal’s is that a brain chip implant could allow humans to authenticate themselves online.
PayPal, which at the moment is still owned by auction site eBay, will become its own business again at some point this year following news of a split in 2014.
The numbers from eBay’s fourth-quarter and full-year financial statements last year explained that there will be a cull of about seven percent of staffers in the first quarter of 2015.
Meanwhile, PayPal faces challenges from established players and new entrants like Apple, which offers some kind of phone-based option.
Nokia Technologies, which controls thousands of technology patents, plans to re-enter the mobile phone market in 2016, according to unnamed sources cited by Re/code.
Such plans would be ambitious, especially given the super-competitive global smartphone and feature phone market. It isn’t clear precisely what Nokia Technologies is up to, and at least two analysts are skeptical it will work.
“People loved Nokia [in previous years], but I am not sure consumers will think that this is the same Nokia,” said Carolina Milanesi, chief of research for Kantar WorldPanel ComTech via email. “From a business perspective, it will be hard to see how they can be competitive against white box players.”
It is also hard to see how devices will fit into Nokia’s overall business strategy, she said. Milanesi assumed the devices would be built on the Android platform, but that hasn’t been confirmed.
“The Nokia brand is a well-recognized brand, but I would think their re-entering the phone market is not going to happen,” added Jack Gold, an analyst at J. Gold Associates.
“They certainly will be fighting an uphill battle,” said Jitesh Ubrani, an analyst at IDC. “Nokia doesn’t have the brand catchet it once had and the phone market has gotten increasingly competitive as Chinese vendors like Xiaomi, Huawei, ZTE, etc., continue to gain share of wallet and mind, while driving down prices.”
Under terms of the $7 billion sale to Microsoft, Nokia can’t sell any phones under the Nokia brand through 2015 and can’t license the brand until the third quarter of 2016.
So far, it doesn’t appear that Nokia would manufacture any phones, but would instead design products and license those designs and the Nokia brand to other companies. The N1 Android tablet from Nokia Technologies was licensed to a Chinese manufacturer under that scheme.
Microsoft is going great guns in the server market having recently announced the Nano Server, a “minimal footprint” Windows Server, and Hyper-V containers, which provide virtual machine isolation capabilities to containers.
Nano Server is even more stripped-down than Windows Server Core with the GUI stack, 32 bit support (WOW64), MSI and a number of default Server Core components all being put in the dustbin.
You can’t do local logons, Remote Desktop and WMI and PowerShell are the only tools available to manage the creature.
Microsoft is also working on better remote tooling and is coming up with a set of management tools for the nano. It is planning work on PowerShell’s Desired State Configuration, file transfers and script authoring and debugging.
Cutting all this stuff out has made it more efficient, secure and availability. Redmond said that the Nano Server has 93 percent lower VHD (Virtual Hard Disk) size.
It also gets 92 percent fewer critical bulletins and requires 80 percent fewer reboots than a typical Windows Server. It is also a bit quicker to setup: from bare metal to running Nano Server takes 3 minutes.
Hyper-V containers also will offer the system a fair bit of isolation that was only available to “dedicated physical or virtual machines”.
The last processor released was Poulson that was pretty advanced for its time, but is now getting so old that parts of the chip are haunted.
The Itanium 9500 series processors were designed for scalability in mind and targeted at the HPC market and Intel has been pretty quiet about a replacement.
KitGuru cornered an Intel suit and asked them if they were planning to can it completely, but the suit denied it.
“Intel remains committed to the Intel Itanium product line and to the delivery of the next-generation Intel Itanium processor, code named ‘Kittson’. [It] will be manufactured on Intel’s 32nm process technology and will be socket compatible with the existing Itanium 9300/9500 platforms, providing customers with performance improvements, investment protection, and a seamless upgrade path for existing systems,” the spokesman said.
Hang on a minute. Kittson was originally supposed to be on the 22nm process, so the downgrade to 32nm is a bit of a shock.
The only one still trying to flog the Itanium ecosystem is HP. However, HP is in process of transitioning to the x86-64 ecosystem as well, and once it does that, there will be virtually no demand.
Intel has also made it very clear that they have not announced any product after Kittson – which means Kittson will be the end of that branch of the evolutionary tree.
It is sad really IA64 was interesting and had some legs for businesses taking them away from x86 land. It just seems that it was a Betamax.
We recently showed you a new 16 Zen core next generation processor with Greenland integrated graphics and DDR4 support.
This part definitely sounds interesting but we got an update on the 2016 Opteron server market parts. The next generation Opteron won’t have an integrated graphics part but it will have up to 32 Zen x86 cores with 64-thread support. Unlike the highest end compute HSA part that comes with Greenland HBM graphics, the next generation Opteron doesn’t have any integrated graphics. The Opteron needs all the silicon space for the L2, L3 cache as well as its Zen x86 cores.
Just like the 16 Zen core high performance market APU, each core has 512KB of L2 cache and four processors share 8MB L3 cache. The highest end part will come with eight clusters of 4 cores and if you do the math this server oriented CPU will come with 64GB of L2 cache and 16MB of L2 cache for its CPU cores.
A few other notable features for the next generation server parts include a new platform security processor that enables secure boot and crypto coprocessor. The next generation Opteron has eight DDR4 memory channels capable of handling 256GB per channel. The chipset supports PCIe Gen 3 SATA, 4x10GbE Gig Ethernet and Sever controller HUB. Of course, there will be a SMP, dual socket version.
The next generation Opteron will have 32 CPU cores in its highest end iteration, and we expect some Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) with fewer cores than that for inexpensive solutions.
In case AMD comes to market with this part on schedule, and if the Zen core ends up performing as expected, Intel might finally get some competition. Let’s just hope for AMD’s sake that this server CPU is coming in 2016, sooner rather than later.
We can only on possible Zen-based FX parts for high-end desktops, or the manufacturing process for Zen chips, but at this point we cannot confirm FX parts are coming, and whether or not they will be manufactured in 14nm.
The move comes after Samsung opted to use its own Exynos processors for the recently launched flagship Galaxy S6 devices instead of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 810, prompting the U.S. firm to cut is financial outlook for the year.
Samsung and Qualcomm declined to comment on Re/code’s report. The report, dated April 20, did not say whether Qualcomm was looking at other manufacturers for the 820 processor besides Samsung.
The report suggests gathering momentum for Samsung’s system chips business, which investors and analysts expect will swing to profit this year. That could be negative for Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), which analysts say has gotten the bulk of Qualcomm’s orders for high-end chips.
Samsung’s 14-nanometer manufacturing technology gives the firm an edge over rivals such as TSMC, as smaller chips are more energy-efficient and deliver better performance. Investors and analysts say the superior technology will lead to more outside orders for Samsung’s contract manufacturing business and further boost earnings.
Media reports say Samsung will make processors for Apple Inc’s new iPhones expected to launch later this year, and the firm also recently added Nvidia Corp as a contract manufacturing client.
Such a number would be required to provide reliable Internet access to users in remote areas that are currently unserved by terrestrial networks, said Mike Cassidy, the Google engineer in charge of the project, in a video post.
The ambitious project has been under way for a couple of years and involves beaming down LTE cellular signals to handsets on the ground from balloons thousands of feet in the air, well above the altitude that passenger jets fly.
“At first it would take us 3 or 4 days to tape together a balloon,” Cassidy says in the video. “Today, through our own manufacturing facility, the automated systems can get a balloon produced in just a few hours. We’re getting close to the point where we can roll out thousands of balloons.”
Trials are currently underway with Telstra in Australia, Telefonica in Latin America and with Vodafone in New Zealand, where the video appears to have been largely shot. Maps tracking the path of balloons over the country are seen at several points in the video.
At a European conference in March, a Google executive said the balloons were staying aloft for up to 6 months at a time.
At some point they do come down, and Cassidy says the company has developed a system to predict where they will land and to retrieve them.
It has also worked on a reliable launching system.
Google hasn’t provided any details about what a commercial roll-out of the technology might look like.
As the senior mobile marketing manager, the candidate will “lead marketing for Firefox on both Android and iOS,” the listing stated, adding that “a new Firefox for iOS application [will be] arriving soon.”
Mozilla, which had previously staunchly declined to create a version of its iconic browser for iOS, changed its tune last December, when a company manager said that the open-source developer would “get Firefox on iOS.”
Although Mozilla confirmed that it was working on Firefox for iOS, at the time it gave no hint of a timeline. “We are in the early stages of experimenting with something that allows iOS users to be able to choose a Firefox-like experience,” Mozilla said in a Dec. 2 blog.
Mozilla’s Github repository for iOS Firefox confirmed that.
The reasons for Mozilla’s renewed interest in iOS likely stemmed from Firefox’s decline in browser user share. Over the last 12 months, Firefox has shed 31% of its desktop user share by metrics vendors’ Net Applications count, and now has less than half the share of Google’s Chrome.
Mozilla has put its shoulder behind other mobile initiatives. But Firefox OS, an open-source mobile operating system based on the browser, has not yet gained significant traction and its Firefox browser for Android hasn’t moved the needle. According to Net Applications, Firefox’s usage share on mobile was just 0.7% last month, or about one sixty-sixth that of Safari.