Vine shuts off sharing, launches Vine Camera

unvine Vine as we know it is dead. Today Twitter turned off sharing, liking, commenting and revining in Vine, and released its successor, Vine Camera, as an app update on iOS and Android. It has also discontinued the Vine Windows Phone app. For now you can still open the old Vine app if you don’t update, where you can view your old feed and profile, and download your videos. But Twitter confirms… Read More
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HP Enterprise just bought a $1 billion startup for $650 million (HPE)

SimpliVity Doron Kempel

HP Enterprise has bought SimpliVity, a Massachussetts-based storage startup, for $650 million in cash.

At the time of SimpliVity’s last fundraising, in March 2015, the company had declared that it was valued at “more than $1 billion.” All in all, SimpliVity had raised $276 million from investors like Kleiner Perkins, Accel, and Waypoint Capital.

That discounted purchase price is not an encouraging sign for the viability of “unicorn” startups of $1 billion or more. In 2017, companies like Snap, Spotify, and Dropbox will likely have to justify their enormous valuations to Wall Street, and deals like this one will only enhance investor skepticism

SimpliVity competed most directly with Nutanix, a fellow former “unicorn” with a private valuation of $2 billion, that went public in September 2016.

Both companies were racing to make a dent in the market for so-called “hyperconverged” infrastructure, a more cost- efficient way of handling data center-scale server storage that poses a threat to hardware giants like Dell EMC and HP Enterprise. Spending in this market is expected to reach $19 billion by 2018, Gartner predicts.

By buying SimpliVity, HP Enterprise takes the startup’s capabilities and adds it to their own — crucial as the company moves to compete with the combined Dell EMC juggernaut, following the close of their mega-merger. Dell EMC, for its part, has been investing heavily in the market, and resells Nutanix hardware to its customers. Meg Whitman

On a final note, SimpliVity has an interesting background: Founder and CEO Doron Kempel was once part of an elite Israeli special forces unit charged with killing Saddam Hussein, on a failed 1992 mission that resulted in five casualties. Afterwards, Kempel moved to the United States to work for EMC and, later, IBM.

More recently, SimpliVity was tapped as consultants for the most recent season of HBO’s “Silicon Valley,” where they helped the showrunners make sure that Pied Piper’s “beautiful box” was as realistic as possible.

SEE ALSO: HBO’s ‘Silicon Valley’ turned to this startup for maximum authenticity — and things got weird

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Netflix is really bad for DVD sales, according to new research

Reed Hastings at DealBook

Having movies available on Netflix is really bad for DVD sales, according to new academic research.

In 2016, subscription streaming video from the likes of Netflix overtook disc sales for the first time, at $6.2 billion to $5.4 billion. Netflix pays billions to license TV shows and movies, so the rise of subscription video isn’t inherently a bad thing for the movie industry.

But a new academic study, pointed to by TorrentFreak, suggests that having a movie on Netflix can depress DVD sales in a major way.

To try and figure out the effect Netflix has on DVD sales, the researchers looked at a “natural experiment” that took place when Epix, a movie and TV distributor, moved its streaming catalog from Netflix to Hulu, which has a much smaller subscriber base, in 2015.

So what happened? 

“Our difference-in-difference analyses show that the decline in the streaming availability of Epix’s content leads to a 24.7% increase in their DVD sales in the three months after the event,” the paper said.

As soon as its movies got yanked off Netflix, Epix saw a big boost in DVD sales.

The researchers found that the cannibalization effect was “stronger for DVDs released more recently and for movies with better box office performances.” The takeaway here is that licensing a large back catalog of movies to Netflix might not have the same negative effect on sales as giving your marquee new releases up.

These findings might help explain why Netflix’s roster of movies has languished in the past few years. 

Research in 2016 showed that Netflix’s selection of IMDb’s 200 highest-rated movies had gone down in the previous two years by a substantial amount, as had its total catalog of movies. Netflix might be finding that the fees demanded by savvy movie execs, to offset any dip in DVD sales, aren’t worth it, especially when Netflix’s content boss Ted Sarandos says people spend about 1/3 of their time watching movies no matter how good the catalog is.

Another point to note for the DVD market is that the growth of “electronic-sell-through,” which is the digital equivalent to buying a DVD, seems to have stalled. ITunes, and other EST platforms, grew 5.4% in 2016, down from 18% in 2015, and 30% in 2014, according to Digital Entertainment Group (via Variety).

This suggests that the industry shouldn’t look to that revenue to step into any breach in the DVD market, and that the idea of “owning” a movie might be facing its own natural pressure as people get more comfortable with the subscription model.

SEE ALSO: How Apple is taking a page out of the Netflix playbook with its Apple Music strategy

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Wall Street is witnessing a 'third wave of computerization'

The race is on.race hurdles

Across the fund management and retirement industry, legacy fund management companies are partnering with and buying up roboadvisers. 

These automated investment services utilize algorithms to manage and allocate people’s assets. Since they don’t require human beings to operate, they offer much lower fees than traditional advisers while delivering similar returns.

And their rapid growth has disrupted the investment space, forcing well-established financial firms to act. 

The latest example:  John Hancock Financial and NextCapital.

NextCapital, a Chicago-based fintech company, recently announced it would provide John Hancock Financial, a retirement plan provider with $150 billion AuM, a platform that delivers automated financial advice to its nearly 2.7 million 401(k) participants.  The plan will include “portfolio tracking, planning, savings advice and portfolio management.”

Robert Foregger, cofounder of NextCapital, told Business Insider that we are witnessing the “third wave of computerization” in the financial services industry. 

“We have seen the shift from traditional to online banking and traditional to online brokerage,” Foregger said.

“Right now we are transitioning from traditional to digital advice and wealth management for both the 401K and retail markets,” he added.

artificial intelligence robotPeter Gordon, CEO of John Hancock told Business Insider that the joint-venture is a perfect response to recent changes in consumer preferences and a new regulatory environment in which “scalable personal financial advise” is preferred. 

“It marries our institutional knowledge, which is fantastic, with a very clever platform for delivering automated financial advice to investors,” said Gordon. 

It’s the latest in a long line of such deals.

Wells Fargo unveiled a roboadvisor partnership with Arizona-based SigFig in November 2016. That’s the same fintech that partnered with UBS America’s wealth unit in May 2016

Other firms have responded to the growth of roboadvising by simply buying them out. For instance, in 2015 BlackRock acquired FutureAdvisor for an estimated $150 – $200 million and Fidelity picked up eMoney

Those partnerships have helped take assets under management by roboadvisors to new highs. In 2015 global assets under management by roboadvisors stood at a just $100 billion. In 2016 that amount doubled to $200 billion. The estimate for 2017 is $600 billion. And by 2018 AuM is expected to reach $1.5 trillion

SEE ALSO: Charles Schwab is launching another robo advisor

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Announcing “UWPDesktop” NuGet Package Version 14393

The UWPDesktop NuGet package is here to improve the developer experience with Visual Studio when walking along the Desktop Bridge.

The Desktop Bridge allows you to call UWP APIs directly from your WinForms, WPF or VB application. You can use APIs such as Live tiles, notifications, App Services and many more!

Previously, calling UWP APIs from a converted app was a confusing process. You had to find and reference the right .dll or .winmd, and it often wasn’t obvious which one to choose.

For example, to use “await” on UWP types, you had to reference the System.Runtime.WindowsRuntime.dll (c:Program Files (x86)Reference AssembliesMicrosoftFramework.NETCorev4.5
System.Runtime.WindowsRuntime.dll), which was actually from Windows 8.1 and therefore only worked in conjunction with “facadewindows.winmd” (c:Program Files (x86)Windows Kits10UnionMetadataFacadeWindows.WinMD).


AppServiceConnectionStatus status = await connection.OpenAsync();

Confusing, right? The new way is much simpler – just include the latest UWPDesktop NuGet package to your project, and you’re ready to call any supported UWP API without needing additional references.

You have two options for installing the package:

  1. In Visual Studio, right-click on your project, select “Manage NuGet Packages,” and search for and install the UWPDesktop package (as shown in the screenshot below):

  2. Use the Package Manager Console

Install-Package UwpDesktop

Warnings for unsupported UWP APIs

Not all modern APIs can be called directly from your desktop application; for example, you still can’t use XAML or SecondaryTile in your WinForms app. The UWPDesktop NuGet package makes your life easier by raising a warning if you try and call an unsupported API.

For more information and to learn more about the UWPDesktop NuGet package and Desktop Bridge, check out the resources below.

Resources

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Twitter loops all videos under 6.5 seconds as Vine shrivels into a camera

twitter-360 Twitter itself will take Vine’s place as a social network for short videos. To prep for tomorrow’s Vine shutdown and rebirth as Vine Camera, Twitter now automatically loops all videos shorter than 6.5 seconds. That’s not just clips posted from Vine Camera, but any tiny video, including ones saved from other apps like Snapchat. Twitter confirms to me that looping started… Read More

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Evernote attempts to simplify with its new iOS app

ios-v8-launch-hero-640x360 Did anyone really love the Evernote mobile app? No? Well, good news then: the company is giving it another crack today, introducing what it hopes will be a simpler, more efficient tool to help you record your ideas, as well as search through and organize your Evernote content. As a reminder, the earlier app was a bit busy. Spread across the top of the screen were posting shortcuts –… Read More

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Roku’s new app can replace its remote, help you find something to watch

roku-mobile-app_my-channels-bg Fresh on the heels of introducing new TV models at CES, and touting its 13 percent share of the smart TV market, Roku today is rolling out a revamped mobile application aimed at making it easier to access its most popular features, including search and the remote control, while also introducing a new way to find things to watch. The company has long offered a handy companion app that works… Read More

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A Harvard junior who received internship offers from Google, Apple, Facebook, and more shares her 7 tips to ace an interview

jessica_pointing_photo

Jessica Pointing knows how to interview.

The Harvard University junior received internship offers at companies including Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, McKinsey, Bain, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley.

A computer science and physics major, she’s received offer letters for roles in software engineering, data science, product management, consulting, investment banking, trading, and quantitative finance.

How does she do it? She credits being prepared and relaxed with her string of successful interviews.

Pointing published her best interviewing tips on her blog, the Optimize Guide, which features educational and career advice for high school and college students. Business Insider has shared her tips below, with permission.

1. Do your homework

Pointing made sure to hit the books before interviewing.

“I treated the internship interviews as a class — I studied material from books and did practice problems before the test (a.k.a. the interview),” she writes. “There is usually a go-to book for each industry.” These books help prepare job candidates, covering likely interview topics and even featuring practice problems.

For example, for software engineering interviews, she recommends “Cracking the Coding Interview” by Gayle Laakmann McDowell, while people going for consulting gigs should brush up on “Case in Point” by Marc Cosentino.

2. Develop a structure for problem solving

The stress of interviewing can make it pretty easy to blank out when you’re speaking to a hiring manager.

That’s why Pointing says it’s important to adopt a problem-solving mindset.

Here’s the structure she used for answering questions in her software engineering interviews:

  • Repeat the question to make sure that you understood the question and have all the relevant details.
  • Clarify the function input and output.
  • Check assumptions.
  • Give an approach to solving the problem.
  • Discuss the tradeoffs of the approach.
  • Code the solution.
  • Test the solution with a normal test case.
  • Test the solution with some edge cases.

She also broke down the approach she uses for consulting interviews:

  • Repeat the question to make sure that you understood the question and have all the relevant details.
  • Explain the objectives of the case and ask if there are any more objectives.
  • Ask any clarifying questions.
  • Generate ideas and a solution.
  • Organize and structure the answer.
  • For calculations, give insights into what the calculated number means.
  • Summarize the case at the end.

“These structures ensure that I hit almost everything I need to mention for a successful interview,” Pointing says. “In consulting, giving insights into a number you just calculated separates a good candidate from a great candidate.”

3. Practice and strategize

“It is very important to practice in an interview setting before the interview,” Pointing says. “If your college offers mock interviews, take them! Some companies offer mock interviews too. There are other services out there, such as Refdash that give you free mock interviews. Do a practice interview at every opportunity.”

If at all possible, Pointing recommends scheduling your “dream interview” last. That way, all of your previous interviews can serve as practice sessions.

4. Have a backup plan

Interviews can be pretty stressful.

So how can you keep your cool when the stakes are high?

Pointing advises having a backup plan in mind. You should always have an alternative path to pursue if your job or internship opportunity falls through.

“If you are interviewing for the summer and you go into an interview with no plan for the summer, then you will probably be way more stressed,” Pointing says. “Instead, if you already have an offer or a vague idea of something you would do in the summer (e.g. travel), then the stakes for the interview aren’t as high. The more options you already have, the more relaxed you will be in the interview and the higher your chances are for the job.”

So take some pressure off yourself and make sure to sketch out a backup plan.

5. Invest time

The interviewing process isn’t just about setting time aside to talk to a bunch of hiring managers. You’ll need to devote time to reading, practicing, and perhaps even traveling.

“I traveled across the country more than six times in twelve weeks for my interviews, and spent approximately 80 hours in planes,” Pointing says. “Make sure you have enough time in your schedule to invest in your internship search process. You should dedicate a few hours each day practicing for interviews. I scheduled time in my calendar for interview practice for every morning (after my regular morning routine).”

6. Create a question bank

Pointing recommends that after each interview, job candidates write down interview questions and solutions, as well as their own strengths and areas they could improve on.

“In one of my software engineering interviews, I missed a particular data structure that would have allowed me to have given a more efficient solution, but I made a note of it, and in another interview later on, I ran into a question where I could use that data structure,” she says. “After doing enough cases and problems, you will start to recognize patterns and you will become more confident and quicker in solving problems.”

7. Don’t skim over behavioral questions

Don’t just focus on industry-specific questions. Pointing says that interviewees must also come prepared with answers for common behavioral questions.

“Behavioral questions usually fall under several categories: leadership, teamwork, challenges and successes,” she writes. “You should identify stories in your life that fall under each of those categories. You should also write down those stories and all the details. Writing down your answers to behavioral questions before the interview is important.”

SEE ALSO: An HBS alum explains why he walked away from what seemed like a dream job on Wall Street

SEE ALSO: 17 people who accomplished incredible things at a shockingly young age

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There's used to be only one Chinese-made car you could buy in the US — and we drove it

Volvo S60 T5 Inscription China

I was a broken record. For years, I said that it would be impossible for Chinese carmakers to crack into the US market, following the example of the Japanese and the South Koreans.

I had good justification for this extreme view: there’s no room.

Simply put, there’s was no market share to take in the US. And the old game of coming in with a great car in a segment that had been neglected or abjured — fuel-sipping Hondas in the 1970s, reliable family sedans in the 1980s, small SUVs in the 1990s, hybrid drivetrains in the 2000s — wasn’t going to work.

Competing on price, as Hyundai and Kia had, wasn’t really an option, either, as all the automakers selling cars in America had greatly improved their offerings on that front. You no longer needed to spend very much to get a lot of car.

Then in the midst of the financial crisis, Ford decided to streamline itself and shed its premium brands.

Geely makes its move

Among these were Volvo — the no-nonsense, yet romantic Swedish brand beloved by Los Angeles hipsters and hidebound preppies. A rare opportunity presented itself to international carmakers with aims to enter the US market.

Auto brands almost never go up for sale. More often, they fade away — or are swiftly executed. When Ford was selling Volvo, GM was also trying to unload Hummer, Saturn, and Saab. 

Enter Geely, a major Chinese automaker that jumped at the chance to buy a luxury brand, paying almost $2 billion for it in 2010.

Since then, we’ve been waiting to see what a Chinese-built car from a Swedish brand would be like. When one finally landed on American shores, I was especially intrigued.

The long-wheel base S60 Inscription sedan was the only Chinese-made car on sale in America. But the Buick Envision arrived in 2016, and I drove it to Detroit, an nice big road trip that gave me the chance to get to know the vehicle better. Look for a review soon.

In any case, we sampled a 2016 S60 Inscription “Platinum” in 2015. Business Insider’s Ben Zhang lent an assist, driving it in sporty fashion, while I used the car as a limo to chauffeur around a bunch of tweenage friends of my daughter for a weekend.

We thought it as worth a look back, now that number of Chinese-made cars in the US market has doubled:

SEE ALSO: The XT5 is Cadillac’s hottest selling SUV — but it has just one problem

The S60 Inscription has a pleasing, unobtrusive stance that says, “I’m new” without saying “I’m not a Volvo.” The “Seashell Metallic” paint job also looked very much at home in the New Jersey suburbs.

Solid, simple, dependable. All very Volvo, right down to the fuss-free grille and the familiar Volvo badge. But not stodgy, either. The S60 has a more-or-less contemporary appearance, far sleeker than the brick-like Volvos of yore.

In case you thought it was a Toyota Camry.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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