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Google fourth-quarter revenue misses Wall Street target

People pose with laptops in front of projection of Google logo in this picture illustration taken in ZenicaBy Alexei Oreskovic SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google Inc's revenue grew 15 percent in the fourth quarter but fell short of Wall Street's target on declining online ad prices and unfavorable foreign exchange rates. Shares of Google edged up 0.1 percent to $510.66 in extended trading after an initial dip on the news. Google's advertising revenue has come under pressure as more consumers access its online services on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, where ad rates are typically lower. The growing popularity of mobile devices has made No. 1 social network Facebook Inc a greater threat in the battle for advertisers.


01/29/2015 05:11 PM

China's new tech rules play to local firms' strengths
By Gerry Shih, Michael Martina and Joseph Menn BEIJING/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Draft Chinese government regulation would force technology vendors to meet stringent security tests before they can sell to China's banks, an acceleration of efforts to curb the country's reliance on foreign technology that has drawn a sharp response from U.S. business groups. Western companies say the rules have not yet been formally adopted, and some said they believed Beijing would retreat on some of the most onerous ideas, including demanding that firms' proprietary source code be reviewable. On Wednesday, 18 American business groups urged Beijing to postpone rolling out the regulation, which they argued were motivated by protectionism as well as security concerns that intensified in the wake of disclosures of U.S. spying techniques by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.
01/30/2015 12:02 AM

AWS move, disclosure suggest Amazon yielding more to Wall Street

Two freshly delivered Amazon boxes are seen on a counter in Golden, ColoradoAfter years of giving investors the cold shoulder, Amazon.com Inc is starting to warm up to Wall Street. The No. 1 U.S. online retailer was unusually forthcoming during its fourth-quarter earnings call on Thursday, saying it will break out results this year, for the first time, for its fast-growing cloud computing unit, Amazon Web Services. This was a shift in tone for Amazon, which typically refuses to disclose more than the most basic details, including how many members belong to its $99-a-year Prime program or if its wide-ranging investments are paying off. Chief Executive Jeff Bezos has deflected criticism of his spending by emphasizing that he takes a much longer view than most investors.


01/30/2015 03:52 AM

Tencent inks exclusive online partnership for NBA games in China
By Gerry Shih BEIJING (Reuters) - The National Basketball Association and Tencent Holdings Ltd said Friday the Shenzhen-based Internet giant will be the only company in China to stream the league's online content. The exclusive, five-year deal will allow Tencent to offer for the first time in China the NBA's League Pass package, which allows subscribers to watch a full season's worth of games live and on-demand. NBA live games and content will be available to stream through Tencent websites and apps including QQ.com, Tencent's News app and Weixin, the popular messaging app also known as WeChat. China has been one of the NBA's most successful overseas markets since the league entered the basketball-crazed nation in 1987.
01/29/2015 10:53 PM

Alibaba quarterly revenue disappoints, shares fall

The logo of Alibaba Group is seen inside the company's headquarters in HangzhouBy Paul Carsten and John Ruwitch BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Alibaba Group Holding Ltd's shares fell more than 10 percent early on Thursday, wiping more than $25 billion of market value after third quarter revenue at the Chinese internet giant fell short of analysts' expectations. Revenue at the world's largest e-commerce company rose 40 percent to $4.22 billion in the December quarter, short of the average analyst estimate of $4.45 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Earnings per share (EPS), calculated to exclude one-off and extraordinary items, beat estimates of $0.75, coming in at $0.81.


01/29/2015 10:32 AM

Amazon sales rise in holiday quarter, shares jump

A zoomed image of a computer screen showing the Amazon logo is seen in ViennaBy Deepa Seetharaman SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc reported stronger than expected earnings on Thursday as North American sales surged during the crucial holiday quarter, sending its shares up 9 percent. The online commerce giant, which gets about a third of its revenue from October to December, reported earnings of 45 cents a share, trouncing Wall Street's average prediction for 17 cents. The sharply higher profit was a welcome surprise for Wall Street, which has clamored for Amazon to come to grips with its growing investments in everything from Hollywood-style television productions, and cloud computing and consumer devices with mixed success. In a conference call with reporters, Chief Financial Officer Tom Szkutak said Amazon is putting "a lot more energy around making sure we get great productivity around our various fixed and variable assets." Even so, few analysts expect Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos will rein in his spending significantly this year, especially as Amazon beefs up its $99-a-year Prime membership program, which offers standard two-day shipping, streaming video and unlimited photo storage among other perks.


01/29/2015 05:07 PM

​Jolla takes second bite at crowdfunding with a 64GB Sailfish OS tablet

​Jolla takes second bite at crowdfunding with a 64GB Sailfish OS tabletJolla is taking a second crack at its Indiegogo campaign that crowdfunded its first tablet into existence.


01/30/2015 05:22 AM

Jay Z takes on Spotify with $56 million purchase of Aspiro

Jay Z takes on Spotify with $56 million purchase of AspiroJay Z is making a play in the music streaming business. The 45-year-old rapper and entrepeneur is buying Swedish tech company Aspiro for 464 million Swedish crowns ($56 million) in cash. Aspiro currently runs a pair of music streaming services: the ad-free WiMP and the high-definition add-on Tidal.


01/30/2015 05:18 AM

DARPA's new tech lets robots learn from YouTube videos

DARPA's new tech lets robots learn from YouTube videos


01/30/2015 04:39 AM

Jolla Tablet returns to Indiegogo with more storage and better battery

Jolla Tablet returns to Indiegogo with more storage and better batteryFinnish tech company Jolla has re-opened funding for its first ever tablet on Indiegogo with an improved 64GB device. As well as improved storage, the updated tablet has been given a slight battery bump (4300mAh to 4450mAh), a fully laminated display, gyroscope and compass sensors. The new tablet also offers support for microSD cards up to 128GB in size, but that comes with a catch. "Due to Microsoft’s licensing limitations," says Jolla, "cards over 32GB that are formatted in Jolla Tablet will not be readable with Windows computers or devices that advertise microSDXC support (cameras/phones/tablets)." This is because Jolla hasn't licensed Microsoft exFAT for its Sailfish OS.


01/30/2015 04:22 AM

Machine learning face-off: Microsoft uses Band to show what its Watson rival is capable of

Machine learning face-off: Microsoft uses Band to show what its Watson rival is capable ofPlug-and-play machine learning data models that can instantly analyze information and provide intelligent insights? Yep, Microsoft has 'em, it says.


01/30/2015 03:44 AM

A smartphone case maker might have made this year's best Super Bowl ad

A smartphone case maker might have made this year's best Super Bowl adThe Super Bowl is still two days away, but between Budweiser's attempts to tug on your heartstrings to sell beer, and Kim Kardashian's selfie-centrc self-parody for T-Mobile, we've already seen a number of the big budget ads that will air during the big game's commercial breaks. But it's not just the biggest brands that get to show off their most creative ads during the biggest game, as phone case maker Mophie shows.


01/30/2015 03:14 AM

'Lego Jurassic World' game packs four movies' worth of brick dinosaurs

'Lego Jurassic World' game packs four movies' worth of brick dinosaurs


01/30/2015 03:02 AM

Crave giveaway: 51-inch plasma HDTV from RetailMeNot

Crave giveaway: 51-inch plasma HDTV from RetailMeNotTo celebrate the upcoming Super Bowl, coupon site RetailMeNot is offering up a free Samsung HDTV. Because deflated balls always look better in high definition.>


01/30/2015 03:00 AM

The new Candy Crush? Chinese language apps make learning a game

A new generation of Chinese language apps that are using tricks traditionally employed by online games to get users hooked on learningPhilipp Mattheis knew his gaming app was addictive when he realised he kept checking his phone -- hooked by the brightly-coloured reminders telling him to play again or risk falling from the triple-figure level he had reached. Yet gripping the German journalist's attention was not Candy Crush, but one of a new generation of Chinese language apps that are using tricks traditionally employed by online games to get users hooked on learning. For years the thrill of studying a new language has been tempered by the tedium of rote learning and repetition required to be truly accomplished -- particularly the case for memorising a character-based system -- but now language apps are increasingly turning to the same praise, reward and challenge format that games such as Candy Crush use to such devastating success. Shanghai-based Mattheis is an avid user of the app Memrise, which offers courses in standard Mandarin Chinese and several dialects, and has 25 million users.


01/30/2015 02:18 AM

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