Category: Business

People are not spending on security

Were-Doomed-The-Dads-Army-StorySecurity outfit FireEye released some disappointing results and claim it is because firms are skimping on their security budgets.

FireEye forecast a bigger than expected loss for the first quarter and said it expected growth in cyber security spending to slow this year.

FireEye Chief Executive Dave DeWalt said sales across the industry were boosted by “emergency spending” last year as major hacking attacks prompted some companies to place massive orders.

“Now I see a much more normalized spending environment,” he said in an interview ahead of the company’s quarterly earnings call with analysts.

The company forecast an adjusted loss per share of 49-53 cents per share for the quarter ending March, bigger than the 40 cent loss analysts were expecting on average.

DeWalt said the buying of iSight Partners and Invotas this year would hurt profitability in the short term as both businesses were subscription-based.

Subscriptions bring in less money in the short term.

The company bought privately held iSight for $200 million in January to boost its cyber intelligence offerings for governments and businesses.

While demand for more sophisticated security offerings has surged in the face of an increase in cyber hacking, FireEye is facing intense competition from Palo Alto Networks, Proofpoint and Imperva.

FireEye’s fourth-quarter billings was $256.9 million – at the lower end of the $257 million-$258 million the company had estimated in January.

FireEye said net loss attributable to common shareholders increased to $136.1 million, or 87 cents per share, in the quarter ended Dec. 31, from $105.7 million, or 72 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose 29.2 percent to $184.8 million, missing analysts’ average estimate of $185.3 million.

Apple sued over the only innovation in the iPhone 6S

Old Apple logo - Wikimedia CommonsWhen the iPhone 6S and iWatch came out they was greeted by a loud sounding yawn even though Apple insisted that its haptic technology was worth buying because it was “super, cool and innovative”.

However not only did the iPhone 6S fail to interest so many people as Apple’s earlier models, it would appear that the haptic technology was not that innovative and Apple was not thinking different at all.

Immersion has accused Apple and carrier AT&T of infringement of three of its patents in the latest iPhone models and Apple watches.

Immersion has 2,100 issued or pending patents worldwide covering various aspects and commercial applications of haptic or touch feedback technology, has asked the US International Trade Commission to ban the import of the specified iPhone and

Company CEO Victor Viegas named in the actions the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, Apple Watch,

Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition are using its tech, the claim runs.

“While we are pleased to see others in the industry recognize the value of haptics and adopt it in their products, it is important for us to protect our business against infringement of our intellectual property in order to preserve the ecosystem we have built and the investments that we have made in continuing to advance haptic experiences. We will vigorously defend the intellectual property we have developed when it is infringed,” he said.

The Apple Watch has haptic features promoted under the names Force Touch and Taptic Engine, according to the complaint.

The patents involved include No. 8,619,051, which refers to a haptic feedback system with stored effects, and U.S. Patent No. 8,773,356, which refers to a method and apparatus for providing tactile sensations. The complaint also charges the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus with infringing its U.S. Patent No. 8,659,571, which refers to an “Interactivity Model for Shared Feedback on Mobile Devices.”

Dell has a few problems buying EMC

Dell's Computer Shipments Increase 28% In ChinaTin box shifter Michael Dell is having a few problems getting the cash he needs to buy EMC.

The commitment deadline on $10 billion of pro-rata loans in a $45 billion financing package backing computer giant Dell’s  EMC purchase has been extended .

One of the problems was the Chinese New Year, which delayed approval of requests from foreign banks’ home offices to participate in the financing.

Asian banks — Chinese and Taiwanese — have balance sheets and an ancillary connection with Dell and EMC, and at the moment they are short on the paperwork.

But this, coupled with sinking oil prices, equity sell-offs and increased dollar funding costs are making it more expensive for some banks to lend and were expected to make Dell’s pro-rata loans a tougher than expected sell.

Some of the people behind the deal are a little worried. The size of the loans was challenging but trying to do it right now  makes it harder.

 

 

 

 

Dell’s $10 billion pro-rata loans include a $3.5 billion three-year term loan, a $3.5 billion five-year term loan and a $3 billion five-year revolving credit facility.

The loan package also includes an $8 billion seven-year Term Loan B that will be sold to institutional investors and $25 billion of high-yield bonds, both of which will come to the market before the acquisition is scheduled to close in August.

 

However the thought is that even if the deal takes longer to sell, Dell’s strong enterprise-oriented business model, the credit quality of the name (expected corporate ratings Ba1/BB+, expected debt ratings Baa3/BBB), and a focus on paying down debt are seen encouraging banks to absorb the pro-rata loans.

Russians revolt against Windows

russian-villagersGerman Klimenko, Putin’s new Internet and technology Tsar has started a new campaign which is looking to  increase taxes that will affect American tech companies like Google, Microsoft, and Apple.

Companies would have to pay up to 18 percent more in taxes, if his campaign is accepted by the Russian government.

The big idea is to take money away from the evil US imperial corporates and funnel it to the evil Russian oligarchs instead.

Klimenko wants to replace Windows on all government PCs with a Linux-based operating system developed by Russians. Klimenko also stated that there are already 22,000 municipal authorities ready to replace Windows with their own operating system.

Part of the problem is that Microsoft has insisted that Windows 10 must collect more data than the NSA and Russia is a little worried that all that data will be handed over to US spooks at some point.

“It’s like a wife seeing her husband with another woman – he can swear an oath afterward, but the trust is lost,” Klimenko said with the voice of experience.

Windows is still the dominant operating system on Russian people’s computers, as 93 percent of desktop computers in the country still runs Microsoft’s operating system.

 

Nokia does well but frets about China

nokia-in-advanced-talks-to-acquire-alcatel-lucents-wireless-business-reportsFormer rubber wear maker Nokia reported better than expected profits for its telecom network equipment business but warned that its Chinese business might be a bit slow this year.

Nokia’s network gear business, which accounts for more than 90 percent of its stand-alone sales, reported fourth-quarter operating profit margin of 14.6 percent, compared with 14 percent a year earlier.

Net sales for the Nokia group decreased three percent in constant currency terms to $4.08 billion, it said.

Nokia last month started to combine its operations with Alcatel-Lucent, and this week it said it holds 91 percent of Alcatel shares.

Alcatel-Lucent said in a statement that its fourth-quarter adjusted operating profit grew to $632.86 million helped by stronger sales at the end of the year, notably in software.

Revenue over the period rose 13 percent to $7.70 billion.

Catch-up patent payments from Samsung helped Nokia’s total operating profit in the quarter grow 46 percent from a year ago to $829 million, roughly in line with market consensus.

Nokia said it would issue its full-year outlook for the combined networks business in conjunction with its first quarter results. The acquisition is aimed at helping Nokia compete with Ericsson and  Huawei in the network gear market.

IT industry bellwether Cisco is ok

the Cisco kidThe tech industry breathed a sigh of relief after Cisco reported a bigger than expected quarterly profit.

Cisco is one of those companies that shows the general state of the technology industry as it always tends to suffer when there is any downturn.

However this time the company saw higher demand for its routers and security products.

Cisco is shifting to high-end switches and routers and investing in new products such as data analytics software and cloud-based tools for data centres.

Revenue in the company’s routers business rose five percent to $1.85 billion in the second quarter ended January 23, Cisco said.

Revenue in the switches business, the company’s biggest, fell four percent to $3.48 billion.

Its security business, which offers firewall protection as well as intrusion detection and prevention systems, recorded an 11 percent rise in revenue to $462 million.

Cisco boosted its current share buyback plan of $97 billion, of which $16.9 billion was remaining, by $15 billion.

The company forecast third-quarter adjusted profit of 54-56 cents per share and revenue growth of between one to four percent, excluding revenue from its customer premises equipment business, which it has sold.

Net income rose to $3.1 billion, from $2.40 billion last year. Cisco isn’t really boring, honestly.

Carly quits presidential race

CarlyThe winsome and lose some former maker of expensive printer ink,  Carly Fiorina, has quit the presidential race and staggered off to the side to search for oranges.

The writing was on the wall after she didn’t qualify for last week’s ABC News debate, and a last-minute campaign on her behalf to allow her in was unsuccessful.

Fiorina looked like she was going to be a contender in the early days of the Republican nomination round but it turned out she peaked far too early.

Fiorina also found herself facing a barrage of criticism from Planned Parenthood and its allies after it turned out that her views of the undercover videos assailing the organisation’s handling of foetal tissue proved inaccurate.

Her campaign was built on the argument that because of her history as a woman with a lengthy private sector history she would be the best person to take on Hillary Clinton in a general election.

The fact she was willing to attack Clinton might see her in the running for the vice presidential nomination.

The 2016 race was Fiorina’s second bid for political office. She previously had a go  for California’s Senate seat in 2010, but was knocked out by the incumbent Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer.

Verizon thinking of buying Yahoo

marissa_new4The dark satanic rumour mill has manufactured a hell on earth yarn claiming that the US telco Verizon is thinking of buying the very troubled search outfit Yahoo.

Verizon wrote a cheque for the supplier of beer mats during the 90s AOL last year and according to Bloomberg, the wireless telecom giant has tasked AOL CEO Tim Armstrong with figuring out how to buy Yahoo.

Yahoo is currently working out how to spin off its core businesses and keep the original company as a holding entity for the Alibaba shares. The company explained that the tax climate for spinning off Alibaba holdings was simply unfavourable for investors.

CEO Marissa Mayer also noted that the move would give more “transparency” to the operations of Yahoo’s core businesses, and analysts believed that implied Yahoo would be selling itself off bit by bit.

Verizon’s huge user base and mobile video ads would likely bring in quite a lot of revenue if it bought the company. It also needs to get its feet under the table of the online video scene.

Apple sued for creating bricks in its wall

pink-floyd-the-wall-alan-parkerThe fruity cargo cult Apple is facing a class action for bricking the phones of naughty users who dared not to use its genii to repair their phones.

Apple issued an update which bricked iPhone 6 devices that have been repaired by third parties. The so-called “Error 53” problem appeared after an iOS software update and seemed to affect devices with replaced or damaged home buttons and Touch ID sensors.

Basically this means that anyone dumb enough to buy an iPhone 6 but shrewd enough to realise that it did not have to be repaired by Apple is facing an expensive problem. They have to get their phone re-repaired by Apple for the original fault and the one that Jobs’ Mob created.

Apple claims that it has done no such thing and the error is the result of a “security feature.” The iOS checks that the Touch ID sensor matches your device’s other components during an update or restore. This check keeps your device and the iOS features related to Touch ID secure.”

We are not sure if they ran that particular excuse through the common sense department of the company for checking. Why would Touch ID need to do that?

The idea is similar to one which Microsoft uses to check that you are not installing multiple copies of Windows onto your PC and with a similar but less drastic result. To say that Apple was unware that this would be the result of its “security feature” suggests that either its software people are so stupid that they did not know that would happen, or the company was trying to weed out those who had “unauthorised components”.

PCVA, the Seattle-based law firm considering a class action lawsuit thinks the latter. On its website it said: “We believe that Apple may be intentionally forcing users to use their repair services, which cost much more than most third-party repair shops.”

Foxconn buying Sharp for $5 billion

sharp2Foxconn is now only awaiting finalised details between the two parties, before buying the troubled Japanese display maker Sharp.

Foxconn’s lead zookeeper CEO Terry Gou said Foxconn has been given preferred negotiating rights, and is aiming to lock up a deal by the end of February.

The two companies are said to have reached a consensus on most matters, with what’s remaining being mostly legal and regulatory issues.

“The rest is a process…I don’t see a problem completing this process,” Gou said.

Sharp’s CEO Kozo Takahashi had previously denied that his company had given Foxconn exclusive negotiating rights. It’s not clear what changed to sway the situation.

Foxconn’s bid is believed to be worth at least $5 billion twice what the Japanese government was offering.

The Tame Apple Press thinks that if the Sharp deal is completed, it should further strengthen Foxconn’s links with Apple, giving it the ability to not just assemble Apple products like the iPhone but manufacture displays too. However it is unlikely that Foxconn would want to depend much more on Apple’s slowly failing business, it is more likely that it wants to take a bigger slice of smartphone and other mobile gadget production.