What You Don't Want To Miss This Week

30 Apr 2015
Useful Stuff

After everything we have read this week we would definitely say it is THE financial week. But because finance is not sexy, we'll let those news to the bottom of the list and start with the easy ones:

1. Instagram @music Channel

Instagram has launched its @music channel to give a ‘behind-the-scenes’ look at big-name artists and draw the spotlight on lesser known performers. Also, their most recent update includes three new filters and emoji support.


2. Facebook Messenger Video Calling

Facebook adds video calling to Messenger, feature not available yet in Romania (but Greece and Poland are on the list). On the other side, with its migration to the Graph API 2.0., it shuts down friends data API to generate more trust among users. Changes take effect on April 30th. TechCrunch is covering nicely the subject.

3. Amazon Business

Launched two days ago, Amazon Business is a new marketplace where customers can buy "everything from IT and lab equipment to education and food service supplies – as well as business-only selection and pricing".


4. Microsoft Build Developers Conference

Microsoft's most important event of the year is rolling out as we speak, from April 29 to May 1, 2015. Up to now:

  • Huge news for Windows 10, Microsoft announcing that will allow Android and iOS apps to run on its platform;
  • Known as Project Spartan, Microsoft Edge is the name of the new browser replacing Internet Explorer;
  • The company launches Visual Studio Code, a free cross-platform code editor for OS X, Linux and Windows;
  • .NET Core preview (Microsoft open source implementation software) is now available for Mac and Linux, allowing developers to build cloud applications on multiple platforms.
  • And a cute robot demo showed off how HoloLens (Microsoft's Windows Holographic platform) can help blend virtual reality with the real world to create what the company calls "mixed reality."

5. Digital Content NewFronts

The Interactive Advertising Bureau has kicked off the fourth annual Digital Content NewFronts marketplace (April 27 through May 7). From Yahoo to Youtube and Vice, 34 companies will be present.

6. On Tuesday, Wired published the first part of "The Untold Story of Silk Road", the story on Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht’s rise and fall.

7. LG G4 Announcement

LG's next flagship smartphone has finally been announced, as in "officially" announced. Available from April 29 (at least in South Korea), the phone features a leather back option, a "quantum" display level, the brightest and fastest cameras around (f/1.8 aperture, 0.6 second shutter speed) and new UX 4.0 interface. 


[Update] Tesla Energy & Tesla Powerwall

The big news from Tesla is out and the company unveiled Tesla Energy, a business extension focusing on solar energy, plus its first new product, "Powerwall Home Battery". The battery is rechargeable lithium-ionn, charges using solar power, but it also integrates with the grid “to give customers the flexibility to draw energy from their own reserve.” Open for pre-orders in the U.S. now, it will be made available in summer and costs $3,500 for 10kWh and $3,000 for 7kWh.


8. Digital News Initiative from Google

Google has announced the Digital News initiative, "a partnership between Google and news publishers in Europe to support high quality journalism through technology and innovation", putting €150 million into a three-year innovation fund.

9. Female Avatar Power

One week from Imangi Studios introducing its Template Run 2 female character permanently for free into the game, Minecraft has followed the lead rolling out an update with a free set of female skins - the "Alex" skin pack. This comes after a Washington Post story in March, where a 12-year-old girl made a strong case to the app-makers against gender discrimination and the benefits coming out of this.

10. WordPress Fails Again

Two newly discovered threats for WordPress called a fresh zero-day attack, affecting the latest version of WordPress and earlier iterations, as revealed by Finnish company Klikki Oy on Sunday. A comprehensive coverage of the event here: WordPress Under Attack As Double Zero-Day Trouble Lands. From our side, just saying "no comment" is a comment.

11. Apple Watch App Store Opening

Apple opened up the Apple Watch App Store with more than 3,500 apps according to CEO Tim Cook (during company earnings press call), from Instagram and Twitter to Nike+, BMW i Remote or Tamagotchi.


12. The Android Robot has no manners :)

Last Friday, a giant Android robot was seen urinating on an Apple logo in Google Maps, just south of the Pakistani city of Rawlpindi. Google apologizes for the Android robot peeing on an Apple logo in Google Maps. And again we burst into laughter.


Now, going back to few financials:

1. Apple announced record second quarter results for Q2 2015, with a growth of 27.2 percent in revenue compared to a year-ago quarter, with a $58 billion revenue and quarterly net profit of $13.6 billion. "The growth was fueled by record second quarter sales of iPhone® and Mac® and all-time record performance of the App Store℠."

2. Microsoft also reported solid third quarter earnings, beating all expectations with a 6.5% year-over-year growth to $21.73 billion.

3. Earlier this week Twitter reported first quarter 2015 results and lowered it's full-year 2015 expectations. The company missed its Wall Street revenue targets, bringing in $436 million versus the expected $456. The earnings were leaked earlier, causing a stock crash of 18%. But total monthly active users was in line with expectations at 302 million, first time Twitter has reached the 300 million mark. Few days later, Twitter has partnered with Google to boost attribution capabilities and also reached an agreement to acquire TellApart, a company that provides retargeting across devices.

4. If we were to recall last week's results, Facebook also missed analysts expectations, but reported a 42% year-over-year growth with $3.54 billion in revenue and 1.44 billion monthly active users, up 13%.

5. [Update] After Facebook and Twitter reported mixed results, LinkedIn today was the latest to report its Q1 earnings. With over 350 million users globally, the network posted sales of $638 million, up 35% year on year. The company beat estimates, but outlook for revenue and earnings were weaker than Wall Street expected and the stock was taking a big hit in after-hours trading, down more than 27%.

With money in our pockets (hopefully), let's celebrate now the long weekend ahead. Enjoy your 1st of May Day!

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