The Future of Musk's Space Tesla, Cisco Earnings, Google Pixel Sales and More News - Skywell Software

The Future of Musk’s Space Tesla, Cisco Earnings, Google Pixel Sales and More News

The Future of Musk’s Space Tesla, Cisco Earnings, Google Pixel Sales and More News
Anna Bazyma
2018-02-16

Guys, today is Friday and it means you can read our new digest.

1) Google sold 3.9 million Pixel phones in 2017 Google Pixel phone

In the 16 months since its initial release in October 2016, Google’s Pixel family of phones has earned plenty of acclaim and scrutiny, but not very many sales. The latest update on Pixel sales comes from IDC’s Francisco Jeronimo, who notes that Google shipped 3.9 million Pixel and Pixel 2 devices in 2017. That’s no more than a rounding error when set against the global smartphone market that numbers 1.5 billion units, and it’s also less than a typical week’s worth of iPhone sales for Apple.

Read more at The Verge

2) Facebook lost around 2.8 million U.S. users under 25 last year. 2018 won’t be much better

Facebook lost around 2.8 million U.S. users

Facebook is losing young users even quicker than expected, according to new estimates by eMarketer.

The digital measurement firm predicted last year that Facebook would see a 3.4 percent drop in 12- to 17-year-old users in the U.S. in 2017, the first time it had predicted a drop in usage for any age group on Facebook.

The reality: The number of U.S. Facebook users in the 12- to 17-year-old demographic declined by 9.9 percent in 2017, eMarketer found, or about 1.4 million total users. That’s almost three times the decline expected. There were roughly 12.1 million U.S. Facebook users in the 12- to 17-year-old demographic by the end of the year.

Read more at Recode.net

3) Amazon Is Becoming an AI Chip Maker, Speeding Alexa Responses

Amazon Is Becoming an AI Chip Maker

Amazon.com is developing a chip designed for artificial intelligence to work on the Echo and other hardware powered by Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant, says a person familiar with Amazon’s plans. The chip should allow Alexa-powered devices to respond more quickly to commands, by allowing more data processing to be handled on the device than in the cloud.

The effort makes Amazon the latest major tech company, after Google and Apple, to design its own AI chips, in hopes of differentiating their products from those of rivals. That strategy has major ramifications for chip companies like Intel and Nvidia, which are now competing with companies that previously have been their customers.

Read more at The Information

4) UK unveils extremism blocking tool

Night in UK

Home Secretary Amber Rudd told the BBC she would not rule out forcing technology companies to use it by law.

Ms Rudd is visiting the US to meet tech companies to discuss the idea, as well as other efforts to tackle extremism.

Thousands of hours of content posted by the Islamic State group was run past the tool, in order to “train” it to automatically spot extremist material.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd told the BBC she would not rule out forcing technology companies to use it by law.

Read more at BBC

5) Microsoft To Embrace Decentralized Identity Systems Built On Bitcoin And Other Blockchains

Microsoft Embraces Decentralized Identity Systems Built On Bitcoin

In a new post today, Microsoft announced their embrace of public blockchains, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, for use in decentralized identity systems. Initially, the longtime tech giant will support blockchain-based decentralized IDs (DIDs) through the Microsoft Authenticator app.

Unlike the forms of identification used in the world today, a decentralized identity system is not controlled by any single, centralized institution such as a government or large tech company. The idea is that a decentralized identity system removes the possibility of censorship and gives an individual full control over their identity and reputation.

Read more at Forbes 

6) Microsoft revamps its startup programs with $500M commitment and new co-selling program

Microsoft revamps its startup programs with $500M commitment

Over the last few years, Microsoft has launched a number of programs for startups that range from free BizSpark credits for Azure and Microsoft’s developer and productivity tools, to Microsoft Ventures and the Microsoft Accelerator programs around the world. These different programs never quite told a cohesive story about Microsoft’s commitment to startups, though. Now, however, the company is launching Microsoft for Startups, a program that aims to bring technology and marketing expertise to startups and that — maybe most importantly — includes a co-selling program that allows startups to piggyback on Microsoft’s existing sales force.

Read more at TechCrunch

7) Cisco returns to growth, stock pops

Cisco returns to growth

Cisco on Wednesday saw its stock jump 6 percent after the company reported better than expected earnings for its fiscal second quarter, which ended on Jan. 27.

  • Earnings: 63 cents per share, vs. 59 cents per share as expected by analysts, according to Thomson Reuters.
  • Revenue: $11.89 billion, vs. $11.81 billion as expected by analysts, according to Thomson Reuters.

With revenue growth of 3 percent, Cisco has finally ended its streak of two years straight of year-over-year revenue declines, while also continuing its pattern of beating expectations since Chuck Robbins took over as its CEO. The company’s own guidance from the previous quarter accurately predicted the return to growth.

Read more at CNBC

8) After 10 years, Apple is totally changing how it makes iPhone software — and users should be ecstatic

Apple changing iPhone software

If you use an iPhone, you’ve probably recently encountered an annoying glitch or bug.

In the past few months alone, iPhone owners have run into some real whoppers. For instance:

  • A bug caused iPhones to crash on December 2.
  • Some people couldn’t pick up calls on their iPhone.
  • A calculator-animation issue caused people to get a wrong answer.

Does this mean the quality of Apple’s software is slipping, as experts and armchair analysts have been debating for the past year? It’s hard to tell for sure — software always has bugs, and as Apple sells more iPhones, it increases the potential pool of people who will encounter a glitch.

Read more at Businessinsider

9) Bitcoin clears $10,000 for first time in 2 weeks

Bitcoin passed $10,000

Bitcoin passed $10,000 a coin Thursday afternoon, making for the first time in just over two weeks its trading above the psychological hurdle.

The flagship cryptocurrency, which still accounts for 35% of the total value of all coins, is up 5.7% Thursday.

Bitcoin slumped at the start of February, but has been gaining steam again over the last week or so. It remains well off its all-time highs of over $19,000 reached just before Christmas.

It’s hard to pin an exact reason on bitcoin’s recent rally. The price dip and then recovery has matched rather tightly the recent drama in the US stock markets.

Read more at Business Insider

10) Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster will eventually crash in space — and scientists think they know where and by when

The Future of Musk's Space Tesla

On February 6, SpaceX launched the world’s most powerful operational rocket, called Falcon Heavy, for the first time.

The launch sent company founder Elon Musk’s own red Tesla Roadster on a path that crosses the orbit of Mars. This attracted the attention of researchers worried about an eventual crash into the red planet, which would contaminate the world — and any alien microbes living there.

But planetary science researchers can now breathe a little easier, if a new study about the Roadster’s fate is correct.

Read more at Business Insider