Category Archives: Cloud Computing

A star Amazon analyst thinks it will make up to $4 billion from advertising in 2018 (AMZN)

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  • Baird analyst Colin Sebastian predicted Amazon would make between $3 billion to $4 billion in 2018 from advertising.
  • This would be more than Snapchat made from ads in 2017.
  • Amazon’s ad business is relatively new and the company doesn’t disclose how much revenue it makes.
  • Sebastian said there’s “pent-up demand” from merchants on Amazon who want to gain higher rankings on its site.

An analyst with a track record of making correct calls about Amazon has estimated it will make between $3 billion and $4 billion (£2.1 billion to £2.8 billion) from advertising in 2018.

To put this in context, that’s more than Snapchat’s entire 2017 revenue of $825 million (£586 million), but about 10% of Facebook’s $40 billion (£28 billion) ad revenue for the year.

R.W. Baird analyst Colin Sebastian told Business Insider during a press briefing that Amazon had realised there was a “pent-up demand by merchants selling on Amazon to spend on Amazon” and said there was “a lot of upside to that business.”

He likened Amazon’s strategy to Alibaba, the Chinese ecommerce giant which has quietly built up an advertising giant on top of its core retail business.

Sebastian has a history of making the right calls on Amazon. He notably called in October that Amazon would probably offer a delivery service to compete with US postal services such as FedEx and UPS. The rumours became a lot more concrete after The Wall Street Journal reported this month that Amazon would launch such a service in Los Angeles in the coming weeks. He also suggested Washington DC would play home to Amazon’s second US headquarters. The firm hasn’t decided yet, but it’s widely thought to be considering DC.

Sebastian’s valuation of Amazon’s ad business is one of the most bullish to date. JP Morgan analyst Doug Anmuth pegged Amazon’s ad revenue in 2017 at $2.8 billion (£2 billion). The chief executive of agency holding giant WPP, Martin Sorrell, gave the same estimation in August. All the valuations suggest Amazon made more revenue from ads than Snapchat and Twitter, both of which reported less than $1 billion (£710 million) in revenue for the full year 2017.

It’s hard to work out how much Amazon might be earning from ads on its site and app because the firm doesn’t disclose that revenue, instead lumping its ad business into its “other” category.

Sebastian said the growth of Amazon’s advertising business would partly depend on how much of its online real estate it’s willing to give up to ads. “An unknown variable is how much space Amazon will provide on the search results page,” he said. “That’s hard to know, but it’s been increasing.”

Here’s an example of what Sebastian means: If you type in “Brita water filter” into Amazon search, almost the first half of the page is taken up by ads. Amazon may decide not to devote any more of that space to sponsored posts and ads. “If I’m wrong, it’s because Amazon will constrain available supply,” said Sebastian.

Amazon sponsored

One “more visible” variable is pricing, he added. It’s easier for analysts to estimate how much Amazon might be charging advertisers by looking at rivals such as Facebook and Google.

Advertising could become a profit powerhouse for Amazon, alongside its other big profit engine: Amazon Web Services (AWS). Sebastian estimated gross margins of around 70%. The two combined could subsidise Amazon’s core retail business.

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“If you do the math on [ads] and AWS, Amazon is running its first-party retail business at breakeven margin,” said Sebastian. That’s by design. They’re not losing money. They’re incentivised to growing advertising and feed that back into the core business, to subsidise the retail business.”

SEE ALSO: How a startup with no VC funding landed $140 million in Chinese deals and partnered with Tencent

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NOW WATCH: We built Nintendo’s next big thing, Nintendo Labo

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A math formula from the 1990s can help investors make smart bets on the exploding ICO market

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  • The initial coin offering market is off to a red-hot start in 2018, according to new data from Autonomous NEXT.
  • RBC analyst Mitch Steves outlines a way to value the network of ICOs in a note to clients. 


Bitcoin may be down nearly 50% from its all-time high set in December, but the market for initial coin offerings (ICOs) is still humming along. 

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ICOs allow companies to raise funds by issuing their own token. They’ve allowed companies spanning industries from gaming to finance to raise millions of dollars in a matter of seconds.

Still, compared to more established markets pin-pointing good investment decisions in the ICO space isn’t as clear cut, according to RBC analyst Mitch Steves.

“In the stock market, we value companies based on a wide variety of metrics that range from sales valuations, book valuations, earnings valuations and cash flow valuations,” he said.

None of these things exist for crypto. 

In a note to clients, Steves notes that investors could use so-called Metcalfe’s Law to value the network of a given token in the market, which is known for its fair share of fraud and froth. 

“Fast fundraising with minimal regulations has allowed several unsavory individuals to profit off ICOs,” Steves wrote. 

Still, many see a big opportunity in the ICO market. At least 170 crypto funds have opened shop to capitalize on such opportunities, according to Autonomous NEXT. 

“Many real projects are solving real problems and are successfully leveraging blockchain technology to address challenges that have so far been unsolvable,” said Simon Yu, the chief executive of blockchain tech company StormX. “Remain vigilant.”

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Metcalfe’s Law was formulated in the earliest days of the internet to examine the power of network effects. The law, which suggests the value of telecommunications network is equal to the square of the number of users connected in the system, can be used in three ways to value an ICO’s network, according to Steves. From the note:

“The first is the most common which would require taking the total value of the cryptocurrency and dividing by kN^2 (where N represents users). The second application could take the same formula and apply this where N represents number of transactions per second. Finally, the third, would take N such that N represents the number of active nodes in the network.”

New data from Autonomous NEXT, the financial technology analytics provider, shows more than $1.8 billion has been raised via the cryptocurrency-based fundraising mechanism since the beginning of the year. That’s more than one-fourth of the amount raised in 2017. 

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NOW WATCH: We asked Jamie Dimon why JPMorgan is forming a new healthcare company with Amazon and Berkshire Hathaway — here’s what he said

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The Tesla Model 3 interior is unlike anything we have ever seen before (TSLA)

Tesla Model 3

  • The Tesla Model 3 has the most minimalist interior we’ve ever seen in a production car.
  • Not every decision was brilliant, but most were, and the ultimate impression is extremely satisfying.
  • The Model 3’s interior design is a powerful symbol of both the company’s philosophy and what it believes cars should be like in the future.

Tesla has reset expectations with the interior of the Model 3, the company’s mass-market vehicle.

We’d already spent some time with the car at a launch event for the $35,000 all-electric machine at Tesla’s California factory in July. At the time, I wrote that it was the most minimalist auto interior I’d ever seen.

I experienced the Model 3 for only about 15 minutes back then. But this time Tesla let us borrow a bright red Model 3 for several hours. My colleague Ben Zhang and I drove it around Manhattan and New Jersey, and we took in the Zen-like interior environment, where subtraction is everything.

This was a $55,700 version of the Model 3 — the company isn’t yet manufacturing or delivering the base $35,000 car, just the $44,000 premium-level vehicle. So although the interior was obsessively minimal, it was made of the best bits and pieces Tesla has available.

Here’s what we thought:

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SEE ALSO: Tesla customers are starting to review their Model 3s — here’s what they have to say

The Model 3 is Tesla’s long-awaited, all-electric vehicle for the masses. It’s smaller than the Model S, its big-brother sedan.

The Model 3 is also much less expensive. Our loaner was fully loaded and priced at $55,700, but that was still considerably less than the on-average $100,000 Model S.

The designer Franz von Holzhausen came to Tesla from Mazda, and you can certainly see some Mazda in the Model 3. But the car is its own thing, with a sleek visual language that carries over from the Model S.

Flush, chrome door handles are simply the beginning of what will be a complete minimalist experience.

Von Holzhausen’s minimalism serves several purposes.

First, it’s all about who he is and how he believes cars should look and feel. Second, it symbolizes Tesla’s overall philosophy about the automobile: Cars shouldn’t be complicated.

Finally, it connects Tesla with the world of consumer technology. The Model 3 could fairly be called the iPhone of cars, and it has been!

Let’s slip inside …

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Mexico is in the worst possible place for earthquakes — here's why it keeps getting hit

mexico oaxaca

  • A 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck Oaxaca on Friday evening.
  • The quake comes just months after another powerful and similarly sized quake hit Mexico City.
  • The country sits atop three of the Earth’s largest tectonic plates.

If giants were playing a game of Jenga with countries as their table-tops, Mexico would be one of the last locations to get picked.

The country sits atop three of the Earth’s largest tectonic plates — the North American plate, the Cocos Plate, and the Pacific Plate. Whenever these chunks of crust grind or butt up against one another, earthquakes happen. As a former lakebed, Mexico City is also home to soft soil that essentially acts as an amplifier for tremors, often making smaller earthquakes feel much larger.

On Friday, a 7.2-magnitude quake struck Oaxaca, according to the US Geological Survey. The epicenter hit the town of Santiago Ixtayutla, but tremors were reportedly felt as far as 350 miles away in Mexico City.

The temblor comes just five months after a 7.1-magnitude quake hit Mexico City, nearly on the anniversary of a deadly magnitude 8.1 earthquake 33 years ago which killed more than 9,500 people. That repeat quake reverberated along the boundary between the Cocos and the North American plate as the southern-most plate slid beneath its northern neighbor and struck roughly 3 miles northeast of the city of Raboso.


Mexico is one of the most seismically active countries in the world.

Over the past century, the country has seen 19 earthquakes within 155 miles of the epicenter of last year’s earthquake, according to the US Geological Survey. Earthquakes aren’t the only local hazard, either — the region is also repeatedly subject to volcanic eruptions.

South of the 2017 earthquake’s epicenter, two volcanoes — El Chichón and Volcán de Colima— erupted in 1982 and 2005, respectively. Two other active volcanoes southeast of Mexico City called Popocatépetl and Ixtaccíhuatl occasionally vent visible gas, and the former erupted most recently in 2010.

Much of Mexico City is built on a former lakebed, where soft soil has been found to intensify the effects of earthquakes.

A paper published shortly after the area’s 1985 earthquake found that the shaking had been amplified by as much as 500% in regions near the epicenter where the soil was the softest. Since then, the city has taken some steps to manage the risk from future quakes — such as updating building codes near the capital and launching an earthquake early warning system — but many parts of the country still suffer from a lack of safe infrastructure.

SEE ALSO: In a reversal, FEMA says it is not ‘shutting off’ hurricane aid to Puerto Rico — see how devastated the US territory still looks on the ground

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Uber is reportedly preparing to sell its Southeast Asian business to Grab

 Uber is preparing to sell its Southeast Asian business to Grab in exchange for a stake in the Singaporean ridesharing company that has a big presence in that region, according to a new report from CNBC. Read More

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Essential Phone’s new ‘Halo Gray’ color goes on sale exclusively at Amazon

 The Essential Phone is currently in the midst of being rolled out in a range of new colors, including three that will be released excessively on Essential’s own website, with a staged release schedule that began Thursday. On Friday, however, Essential revealed a surprise fourth new color, “Halo Gray,” which will be exclusive to Amazon and which is now available to… Read More

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Spectre and Meltdown are now a legal pain for Intel — the chip maker faces 35 lawsuits over the attacks (INTC)

Brian Krzanich

  • Intel disclosed Friday it now faces 35 lawsuits related to the Spectre and Meltdown attacks.
  • Customers are charging they were harmed by the attacks; shareholders charge that Intel misled them about the state of its business, because it didn’t disclose them sooner.
  • At least one shareholder suit is taking aim at alleged insider trading at Intel; questions have been raised about a massive stock sale by the company’s CEO after Intel was informed of the attacks but before it disclosed them to the public.

The Spectre and Meltdown attacks were a public relations nightmare for Intel. Now they’ve become a legal headache as well.

The chip making giant, its board members, and executives face 35 lawsuits related to the attacks, the company disclosed in its annual report on Friday. Because the suits are in their early stages, Intel said it couldn’t determine how much they could potentially cost it.

“We dispute the claims … and intend to defend the lawsuits vigorously,” the company said in its annual report.

A company representative declined to comment on the lawsuits.

Security researchers disclosed the Spectre and Meltdown attacks last month. Taking advantage of a particular feature found in nearly all computer processors, the attacks could allow a malicious actor to view secret data stored on PCs, tablets, and smartphones, including users’ passwords. In recent weeks, chip makers, device manufacturers, and operating system vendors have been scrambling to patch their devices and software to protect them from the vulnerabilities.

The attacks were actually discovered in June, and Intel was made aware of them soon thereafter. The vulnerability the attacks exploit has been present in nearly all Intel chips made over the last 20 years. And, unlike chips made by other manufacturers, Intel’s processors are vulnerable to both Spectre and Meltdown.

Intel’s handling of Spectre and Meltdown has drawn criticism — and now lawsuits

Intel’s handling of the situation has raised eyebrows not just because it waited more than six months to disclose the attacks to the public despite the fact that its chips were particularly at risk of them, but also because of a massive stock sale made by company CEO Brian Krzanich after the company found out about the attacks. In sale — through which Krzanich saw a $24 million windfall — the CEO sold off all of the shares of Intel he was allowed to sell under his contract.

Intel has noted that the sale, which Krzanich made in November, was done as part of a planned stock divestiture. But Krzanich only put that plan in place a month earlier, which was more than four months after Intel became aware of the attacks.

Thirty of the lawsuits filed against Intel are seeking class action status and were filed by customers who claim they were harmed by the attacks or by the company’s failure to disclose them, according to the annual report. Two of the suits, also seeking class action status, were filed on behalf of shareholders who charge that the disclosure of the attacks shows that statements Intel made about its products or business were false or misleading.

Additionally, another three Intel investors have filed shareholder derivative suits in California state court, according to the annual report. Those suits charge that Intel’s executives or directors failed in their duties to shareholders by delaying disclosure of the breach or not doing anything about insider trading at the company.

The Intel representative declined to say whether the company’s board has investigated Krzanich’s stock trade.

SEE ALSO: Intel was aware of the chip vulnerability when its CEO sold off $24 million in company stock

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17 things successful people do over long weekends

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• In honor of Presidents’ Day, some people are celebrating with a long weekend.

• Business Insider reached out to some experts on how to set yourself up for success when you have an extra day off.

• Their suggestions focused on prioritizing tasks, setting technology guidelines, and spending time with loved ones.

Presidents’ Day is here, and that could mean you have an extra day off to add to your normal weekend.

But how should you spend your long weekend?

If you’re not sure how to make the most of the next few days, we’ve got some ideas.

In addition to reflecting on the legacy of the US presidency, here are 17 things successful people can do before and over long weekends:

SEE ALSO: 11 things unsuccessful people do over long weekends

DON’T MISS: 14 sleeping habits of unsuccessful people

1. They plan ahead

Many successful people plan out their activities for the holiday weekend well in advance so that they are not drawn into the temptation of working, said Michael Kerr, an international business speaker and author of “The Humor Advantage. They make reservations, book tee times, or schedule activities with their kids.

“They’re strategic enough to have an action plan for the three-day weekend, but flexible enough to tackle any urgent work issues that may arise,” said Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and the author of “Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job.”

2. They prepare at work

“Most of what they do happens before they leave for a long weekend so that they are psychologically free to relax and enjoy it,” Kerr said.

This includes saying proper goodbyes to colleagues, cleaning up their office, finishing any pressing tasks, and creating a clear plan of action for when they return to the office so they can hit the ground running.

3. They unplug

Not only do they set guidelines, but truly successful people actually put their phones and laptops away — at least for part of the weekend.

Don’t sit and stare at screens during your time off. Unplug and try to use as little technology as possible. It will help you sleep better and can keep your mind clear.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Apple is being mocked in a hilarious video spoof of the 'What's a computer?' ad many find infuriating (APPL)

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  • Apple is running a commercial in which a kid with an iPad asks, “What’s a computer?”
  • The ad is meant to portray a world where computers no longer exist and kids don’t even know what they are.
  • Many who have watched the ad say it rubs them the wrong way, and parodies have sprung up on YouTube. 


Apple’s new commercial showing off the multitasking prowess of the iPad Pro and iOS 11 is rubbing some people the wrong way.

And now, even YouTube comedians are joining in on the fun. 

The ad shows a kid, age unknown, retiring to her grassy backyard after a day of hanging out with friends and doing school projects with her iPad Pro in what appears to be Brooklyn. A neighbor asks her what she’s doing on her computer.

“What’s a computer?” the kid replies.

The ad is meant to show the versatility of the iPad (and some in tech media have speculated it’s a subtle dig at Microsoft). In this fantasy Apple world, traditional computers are so outdated that a child doesn’t even know what they are. Of course, that’s not the world we live in. Computers are still how the vast majority of work gets done, and the word “computer” is still part of the public consciousness — even for a child.

That fact has not escaped some viewers who say the kid’s question can be perceived as insolence.

“Does this commercial tick anybody else off?” one person said in January in a top comment on a snippet of the ad posted to Facebook. “I want to smack this kid. What’s a computer? You know what a computer is you disrespectful smarta–!!”

Now, even YouTube comedians are getting in on the criticism. YouTube collective Zebra Corner has parodied the video, with a comedian known as “Mahk” standing in as the neighbor who asks the child what they’re doing.

Instead of the commercial ending, however, he gets out a hose and sprays it with water. A little sound effect plays to tell the viewer the iPad device has likely been ruined.

Watch the full parody below:

Apple’s ad debuted in November and ran on major TV networks. Check it out for yourself below:


SEE ALSO: McDonald’s is removing cheeseburgers and chocolate milk from the Happy Meal menu — and parents are furious

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MongoDB will support multidocument ACID transactions

MongoDB will add multidocument ACID transactions support to its NoSQL database of the same name. Multidocument ACID transactions support has been the most-requested feature sought for MongoDB, said Seong Park, MongoDB’s vice president of strategy and product marketing.

Multidocument support is planned for MongoDB 4.0, which is due this summer and reached beta stage this week. ACID transactions already have been supported at the document level in the database; now they can be done across documents as well as across collections within MongoDB. Collections in MongoDB are analogous to a table in a relational database.

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