In Food Science, Dave McCowan from the University Of Chicago’s Department Of Physics answers our confounding questions about the mysterious world of food.
Source: LifeHacker – How to minimize crying when chopping onions
Xerox, the brand that dominated the printing hardware market for decades to the point that it became a verb, has lost its independence and will now be managed by Japan’s Fujifilm Holdings Corp.
Source: Gizmodo – Xerox Is No More, Will Now Merge Into Japan’s Fujifilm
Right now, SpaceX is only reusing rockets to a limited degree — it’s disposing of vehicles after a short while when they’re unlikely to survive their next flight. With its latest launch, though, it got lucky. Elon Musk has confirmed that the Falco…
Source: Engadget – SpaceX rocket survives an intentional water landing
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: The online dating service Tinder must change one of its key monetization strategies. A Los Angeles appellate court reversed a lower court’s decision on Monday and told Tinder to stop charging older users more money per month for its “Tinder Plus” service. The proposed class-action lawsuit, filed by Tinder user Allan Candelore in February 2016, alleged that Tinder engaged in illegal age discrimination by charging its 30-and-older users $19.99 per month for Tinder Plus while offering younger users either $9.99 or $14.99 monthly subscription rates for the same services. Tinder Plus includes app perks such as additional “super-likes” which are more likely to attract a dater’s response. In an initial trial, Tinder’s defense argued that the pricing was based on market testing that showed a market-driven reason to offer lower prices to “budget constrained” users.
“Nothing in the [original] complaint suggests there is a strong public policy that justifies the alleged discriminatory pricing,” Judge Brian Currey wrote in the appeal court’s 3-0 ruling. “Accordingly, we swipe left” — a joke based on the app’s popular “swipe to reject” gesture — and reverse.” That reversal hinges largely on California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act, which was passed in 1959 and protects “equal access to public accommodations and prohibits discrimination by business establishments.” The ruling noted that some business-led discrimination is allowed by California state law, but it agreed with Candelore’s argument that Tinder’s age-targeted pricing is not.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Equifax, the credit-rating agency which royally screwed up in 2017 when it lost the personal data of at least 145.5 million Americans to hackers despite being warned months before that exact thing could happen, has extended its free credit freeze services another five months to June 30th, 2018.
eBay and PayPal remained tight even after the two headed to splitsville in 2015. That’s bound to change in the near future now that the auction site has decided to offer an integrated payment system built by Amsterdam-based company Adyen. The move wi…
Source: Engadget – eBay will soon replace PayPal as its main payment option
Following a release of Switch sales information earlier on Wednesday, Nintendo closed the day by confirming two major releases coming by the end of the company’s current fiscal year: the paid Nintendo Switch Online service, and the first version of Mario Kart for smartphones.
The latter, currently titled Mario Kart Tour, will launch “in the fiscal year ending in March 2019,” according to both the company’s Wednesday investor call and a brief announcement on Nintendo’s social media channels. The only information we have about the game thus far is the logo you can see at the top of this article.
Meanwhile, Nintendo’s plans for the paid Switch Online service had already been pegged for some time in 2018, but today’s news finally confirms a more specific window—albeit later than fans might have expected—of September 2018. As had already been confirmed, this service will debut with some form of the company’s long-running Virtual Console service. In this form, it will include a regular rotation of games that can be played so long as fans pay for its subscription charge, as opposed to a pay-per-game charge as on older consoles. The investor call hinted to more “programs and content” coming to the service without clarifying what those features might look like.
Source: Ars Technica – Nintendo confirms Mario Kart Tour, launch window for Switch Online service
Nintendo’s third big announcement of the evening comes right back to its main star, Mario, and the news that he will star in an animated movie. Confirming earlier rumors, Shigeru Miyamoto is listed as co-producer along with Illumination Entertainment…
Source: Engadget – Shigeru Miyamoto will co-produce a ‘Mario’ animated movie
In Hasty Gourmet, The Takeout writers offer reliable recipes that are dinner-party worthy with only a handful of ingredients and a minimum of effort.
Source: LifeHacker – Behold the splendor of the unfairly maligned tuna casserole
After Super Mario Run and Animal Crossing Pocket, the next Nintendo game to get a mobile version is Mario Kart. Following up on the company’s plan to release 2-3 games per year (there’s a Zelda game in development too) Mario Kart Tour is scheduled to…
Source: Engadget – Nintendo will bring ‘Mario Kart Tour’ to smartphones by March 2019
We knew Nintendo’s new online service would launch this year, and now we know Switch owners will be waiting until September for it. The company tweeted that Nintendo Switch Online will launch then, but didn’t reveal much else, other than the fact tha…
Source: Engadget – Nintendo Switch Online will launch in September
Webpass, the wireless home broadband company that Google Fiber acquired in 2016, is exiting the Boston market. The Verge received a reader tip on the situation and a quick look around revealed that Boston is no longer listed as a current Webpass market on the company’s website. From the report: “As with any acquisition, we’ve spent some time evaluating the Webpass business. As a result of our analysis, we’ve made the decision to wind down Webpass operations in Boston,” an Access spokesperson said by email. “We’ll work with customers and partners to minimize disruption, and there will be no immediate impacts to their Webpass service. We continue to see strong subscriber response across the rest of the Webpass portfolio, including successful launches in Denver and Seattle in 2017.”
Before this move, Boston was one of 8 cities served by Webpass, which delivers up-to-gigabit internet speeds for residential and commercial buildings by using point to point wireless. That number has dropped to 7, and old Google search results for Webpass service in Massachusetts now redirect to the main homepage. Webpass internet service is available exclusively in apartment units and condo buildings. It originally came to Boston in 2015 and the company has (or at least had) an office in the city.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Source: Slashdot – Google Fiber’s Wireless Internet Service Is Leaving Boston
This afternoon, Microsoft announced their earnings for the second quarter of their 2018 fiscal year. The company had revenues of $28.9 billion for the quarter, which is up 12% from a year ago, and was driven by strong growth in their business offerings and cloud revenue. Gross margin for the quarter was 62%, which is flat compared to Q2 2017. Operating income was $8.7 billion for the quarter, which was up 10% year-over-year, but Microsoft is taking a $13.8 billion charge on deemed repatriation of deferred foreign income, so for this quarter, in terms of GAAP results, they are reporting a net loss of $6.3 billion, which results in a loss per share of $0.82. Excluding that charge, net income would have been up 20% to $7.5 billion.
|Microsoft Q2 2018 Financial Results (GAAP)|
|Revenue (in Billions USD)||$28.918||$24.538||$25.826|
|Operating Income (in Billions USD)||$8.679||$7.708||$7.905|
|Gross Margin (in Billions USD)||$17.854||$16.260||$15.925|
|Net Income (in Billions USD)||-$6.302||$6.576||$6.267|
|Basic Earnings per Share (in USD)||-$0.82||$0.85||$0.81|
Microsoft’s More Personal Computing (MPC) division is not the star of the show anymore, but it still brings in the more revenue than the company’s other divisions. For the quarter, MPC had revenues up 2% to $12.17 billion, with the growth attributed to gaming and search, although further losses from their failed phone efforts accounted for 2% of revenue loss. The MPC segment had $2.51 billion in operating income for the quarter, which was down 2% from a year ago. Margins for Surface and search were up, but gaming was down due to the expenses related to the launch of the Xbox One X.
Windows OEM Pro revenue was up 11% for the quarter, which Microsoft stated is a couple percentage points ahead of the commercial PC market, which indicates that there’s some growth on the commercial side right now in terms of PC sales. OEM non-Pro declined 5% though, which is a larger decline than the personal PC market. Search revenue was up 15% for the quarter, with both more revenue per-search, and more search volume.
On the gaming side, revenue was up 8% to $3.92 billion, with Xbox hardware revenue up 14% from the launch of the Xbox One X. Xbox software and services grew 4%, with more digital sales in the picture. Microsoft no longer reports Xbox console sales numbers, but they did state that active users of Xbox Live has grown 7% to 59 million, but that’s across their ecosystem and not specific to the console hardware.
Surface didn’t have spectacular quarter though, with revenue basically flat year-over-year at $1.335 billion. Microsoft’s average selling price was up, but there was a decline in unit sales compared to the same point last year, which is a bit surprising since the company has refreshed it’s product lineup this year, where as a year ago it was still the same devices as launched in November 2015.
Productivity and Business Processes, which includes Office 365, commercial, and consumer, along with Dynamics, and LinkedIn, continues to show strong growth for the company. For this quarter, revenues were up 25% to $8.95 billion. LinkedIn accounted for 15 percentage points of revenue growth for this segment. Operating income was up 9% to $3.34 billion. Office 365 continues to be a huge success, although it’s certainly cannibalizing some of Microsoft’s old business. Office 365 commercial seats were up 30% for the quarter, compared to Q2 2017, and revenue from commercial seats was up 41%. However, the traditional Office sales declined 16% due to this growth in the subscription model. On the consumer side, Office consumer revenue was up 12%, and they now have 29.2 million subscribers. Dynamics revenue was up 10%, with Dynamics 365 up 67%. LinkedIn contributed revenues of $1.3 billion, although that acquisition is also responsible for 33% of their expenses for this segment.
Intelligent Cloud, which includes server and cloud products, as well as enterprise services, had revenues for the quarter of $7.8 billion, which is up 15% from a year ago. Operating income was $2.83 billion, up 24%. Server products continued to grow, up 4% from a year ago, but Azure is the key to this segment, with Azure revenue up 98% from a year ago, which continues a trend of 90+% revenue growth for the last five quarters. Azure compute usage more than doubled over the last year.
|Microsoft Q2 2018 Financial Results (GAAP)|
|Productivity and Business Processes||Intelligent Cloud||More Personal Computing|
|Revenue (in Billions USD)||$8.95||$7.80||$12.17|
|Operating Income (in Billions USD)||$3.34||$2.83||$2.51|
|Revenue Change YoY||+25%, +24% CC||+15%, +15% CC||+2%, +2% CC|
|Operating Income Change YoY||+9%, +10% CC||+24%, +24% CC||-2%, -2% CC|
Despite a large charge for taxes this quarter, it’s clear that Microsoft’s cloud efforts are starting to really pay dividends. For Q3, Microsoft is expecting revenues in the $25.25 to $25.95 billion range.
Source: Microsoft Investor Relations
Source: AnandTech – Microsoft Announces Q2 FY 2018 Earnings
Let’s say you run Line. Your messaging service, plus other forays like smart speakers and music, aren’t enough to avoid substantial losses. What do you do to turn things around? If you ask the company, finance is the answer. Line has created a ne…
Source: Engadget – Messaging giant Line catches cryptocurrency fever
Microsoft has posted the results of the second quarter of its 2018 financial year, running up until December 31, 2017. Revenue was $28.9 billion, up 12 percent year-on-year, and operating income was $8.7 billion, a 10 percent increase. Net income was, however, a loss of $6.3 billion, with a loss per share of $0.82. The cause of this was a $13.8 billion tax bill courtesy of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), signed into law by Donald Trump late last year. Absent that change, net income would have been $7.5 billion, up 20 percent year-on-year, with earnings per share similarly up 20 percent to $0.96.
The TCJA imposed one-time tax rates of 15.5 percent on foreign-held cash and cash equivalents, and 8 percent on non-cash, as if that foreign money had been repatriated to the US and hence subject to US corporate income tax. Many firms with large foreign-held cash piles are going to be taking big tax hits this quarter as a result; Citibank claimed a $22 billion charge, and Apple is expected to take a hit as big as $38 billion.
Microsoft currently has three reporting segments: Productivity and Business Processes (covering Office, Exchange, SharePoint, Skype, and Dynamics), Intelligent Cloud (including Azure, Windows Server, SQL Server, Visual Studio, and Enterprise Services), and More Personal Computing (covering Windows, hardware, and Xbox, as well as search and advertising).
Source: Ars Technica – Microsoft 2Q18: Trump tax hit turns strong quarter into .3B loss
Adriel Desautels was suddenly in a serious mess, and it was entirely his fault.
In less than a year, the Nintendo Switch has earned the designation of the fastest-selling U.S. console of all time. It has outsold the company’s previous flagship Wii U just 10 months after its introduction. “Altogether, Nintendo has sold more than 14.86 million Switch units since its debut in March of 2017,” reports Variety. “The company sold around 12.5 million Wii U’s between 2012 and 2017.” From the report: For Nintendo, this is a remarkable turn-around reminiscent of the introduction of the original Wii back in 2006. In fact, earlier this month, news broke that the Switch had become the fastest-selling game console in the U.S. to date, handily outselling original Wii with 4.8 million vs. 4 million units moved over a ten-month span after each device’s introduction to U.S. consumers. Nintendo sold 7.23 million Switch units during the holiday quarter alone. The company adjusted its financial guidance for Q1 in light of continued demand for the device upwards by 33%, and now expects to bring in an operating profit of 160 billion yen ($1.47 billion), as well as revenue of around 1 trillion yen ($9.38 billion).
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Source: Slashdot – Nintendo Switch Outsells Wii U In 10 Months
On January 13th, an officer of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA) triggered a missile alert that plunged residents statewide into temporary chaos before the alarm was called off as a mistake. While news emerged yesterday that the employe…
Source: Engadget – Hawaii officials fire officer who triggered false missile alarm
mikeebbbd writes: According to Bloomberg, “Xerox, a once-iconic American innovator that became synonymous with office copy machines, is ceding control to Japan’s Fujifilm in a deal that creates an $18 billion company.” Essentially, it’s merging with Fujifilm; a former joint venture operating in the Asian-Pacific area essentially will become the parent company… So much for the company that actually invented the modern graphical user interface later popularized by Apple and Microsoft. “The agreement marks the end of independence for a U.S. company whose roots trace back to the start of the 20th century,” reports Bloomberg. “The joint venture will cut 10,000 jobs in Asia as part of the restructuring as the Japanese company struggles with an ‘increasingly severe’ market environment.” While the new company will have a combined revenue of $18 billion, Xerox was acquired by Fujifilm for $6.1 billion.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Source: Slashdot – Xerox Cedes Control To Fujifilm, Ending Its Independence