David Jones

About the Author David Jones


Deals

Softbank Vision Fund Attracts $93B From Gulf States, Apple, Others

The Softbank Vision Fund has closed its first major funding round raising more than $93 billion in capital from the Gulf states, as well as tech stalwarts Apple, Qualcomm and others. Softbank, which last fall launched the fund with backing from the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, said it has received new commitments from the Mubadala Investment Fund from the United Arab Emirates.

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E-Commerce

Walmart Delivers E-Commerce Stunner

Walmart on Thursday reported soaring e-commerce growth during its fiscal first quarter, along with strong organic sales figures — results that suggest rival Amazon may have a fight on its hands. Online sales grew a stunning 63 percent during the quarter, perhaps in response to the company’s newly introduced free two-day shipping and its upgraded mobile app.

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Developers

Google Pushes AI, Machine Learning to the Front

Addressing thousands of developers at the annual Google I/O conference on Wednesday, Google CEO Sundar Pichai outlined the company’s new strategy to transition from mobile first to artificial intelligence and machine learning. The goal is to equip the company’s line of digital assistant products and services to anticipate the needs of users, and comprehend sights and sounds in new ways.

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Cybercrime

Massive Ransomware Attack Reaps Meager Profits

The WannaCry ransom attack that quickly circled the globe last week is not yet fully contained. So far, it has impacted more than 300,000 computers in 150 countries. However, one of the remarkable things about it is that only a trifling $100,000 in ransom, give or take, apparently has been paid. That represents a surprisingly low response from an attack generally considered the biggest ever.

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Mobile

Google’s New Mobile OS Will Have a Distinctly Non-Linux Hue

Google has been developing a new open source OS called “Fuchsia” for smartphones, tablets and other devices, which could be unveiled as early as this summer. Little has been revealed about the new OS since it first came to light last year. However, new details that surfaced last week have been making the rounds. Fuchsia apparently will move Google away from its long association with Linux.

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Cybercrime

British Hospitals, FedEx Among Thousands Hit by Ransomware

Authorities are investigating a massive ransomware attack that reportedly hit more than 45,000 computers in 74 countries worldwide, including the UK’s NHS England national health service, international delivery service FedEx, and Spanish telecom firm Telefonica. Security experts have linked the exploit to an earlier leak by the Shadow Brokers, who allegedly pilfered hacking tools from the NSA.

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Developers

Microsoft Debuts Smarter Cloud at Build

Microsoft executives, led by CEO Satya Nadella, introduced a series of enhancements to the company’s critical data and cloud services at the kickoff of its annual Build conference, demonstrating new ways to expand adoption of artificial intelligence, personal digital assistants and other innovations. There will be more than 25 billion intelligent devices in the world by 2020, Nadella said.

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Tech Blog

Qualcomm May Seek iPhone Ban to Retaliate Against Apple

Qualcomm plans to ask the ITC to block imports of iPhones, according to a report. The move apparently was spurred by Apple’s recent decision to stop making royalty payments owed under a licensing agreement between the two companies, which is the subject of a billion-dollar legal battle in federal court. “You can’t pay something when there’s a dispute about the amount,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said.

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Online Entertainment

Hulu Aims to Reinvent Live TV Experience

Hulu has announced a new live-streaming television service for $39.99 per month, which will place the company in direct competition with newly launched services from DirecTV Now, YouTube and other OTT content providers. The Hulu with Live TV beta will offer 50 channels of live-streaming television — including sports, news, entertainment, children’s programming and local network affiliates.

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Mobile

Microsoft Aims to School Google With Education Onslaught

Microsoft on Tuesday launched a major effort to bulldoze its way into the educational computing space carved out by Google, with the introduction of a streamlined operating system called “Windows 10 S,” a range of new collaborative programs for K-12 schools, and two new Surface laptops aimed at the college student market. The Surface laptop runs on the Windows 10 S operating system.

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Social Networks

New Deals Turn Twitter’s Content Stream Into a River

Twitter has announced a partnership with Bloomberg to launch a 24-hour streaming news service — one of a dozen new content deals Twitter has entered to drive user engagement. CEO Jack Dorsey and a group of top executives announced the slate of programming agreements — which include concerts from Live Nation, sports from Major League Baseball and the WNBA, and a morning news show from BuzzFeed.

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Gaming

Nintendo Drops New Portable on Market as Switch Sales Take Hold

Nintendo last week introduced a new contender in the increasingly hot portable gaming competition. The New Nintendo 2DS XL will make its debut on July 28 at a mid-range price of $149.99. It will slot in right between the entry-level 2DS and more robust 3DS XL. The 2DS XL has the same large screen as the 3DS XL and can play all the games made for the Nintendo 3DS, New Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo DS.

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Social Networks

Instagram Snaps Up Rivals’ Users

Instagram has reached a milestone of 700 million members while enjoying the fastest-ever growth rate in its history. The network has grown by more than 100 million members in the last four months. Its burgeoning growth can be credited to new features like Stories, live video and disappearing messages, the company said. User engagement with Stories has grown to more than 200 million people per day.

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