Tag: reuters

Tame Apple Press tries to hawk the failed iWatch

dell boy The Tame Apple Press is flat out trying to flog the iWatch this Christmas, even though no one has been interested in the lame duck product all year.

Apple’s favourite new agency Reuters, once famous for printing credible stories, has run an advert as a news story where Apple’s Tim Cook making the extraordinary claim that the iWatch is going to be a sell out this Christmas.

He claimed, without a shred of proof, that sales of the Apple Watch to consumers set a record during the first week of holiday shopping, and the current quarter is on track to be the best for the product. Cook said the gadget’s sell-through reached a new high.

However, that all flies in the face of an IDC report that the tech giant sold 1.1 million units of the Apple Watch during the third quarter of 2016, down 71 percent from the year-ago quarter. Given that the Tame Apple press claimed that the gizmo would sell 40 million of them in the first year, the iWatch has been a total failure.  And yet Reuters seems to be spinning this failure as “a glimpse of the gadget’s performance during the holiday quarter”.

“Our data shows that Apple Watch is doing great and looks to be one of the most popular holiday gifts this year,” Cook claimed.

Reuters admitted that Cook did not respond to a request for specific sales figures for the gadget because that would have shown how bogus the whole story was.

Reuters naively gives itself a RAW deal

Simpsons_Internet_Computers_Black_ShirtApple’s favourite news agency Reuters has decided that the best way it can deal with photoshopped pictures is by insisting that all its snaps are in JPEG format.

In what many photographers would consider completely clueless, Reuters has implemented a new worldwide policy for freelance photographers that bans photos that were processed from RAW files.

Photographers must now only send photos that were originally saved to their cameras as JPEGs.

A Reuters pictures editor said photojournalists could shoot raw images that’s fine, just take JPEGs at the same time.

A Reuters spokesperson has confirmed this policy change with PetaPixel, and says that the decision was made to increase both ethics and speed.

“As photojournalists working for the world’s largest international multimedia news provider, Reuters Pictures photographers work in line with our Photographer’s Handbook and the Thomson Reuters Trust Principles,” Reuters said.

“As eyewitness accounts of events covered by dedicated and responsible journalists, Reuters Pictures must reflect reality. While we aim for photography of the highest aesthetic quality, our goal is not to artistically interpret the news.”

Reuters appears to think that photos processed from RAWs are more likely to distort the truth with photoshopping. However no one appears to have worked out that a picture can be taken in raw, photoshopped and then saved as a JPG and Reuters would be none the wiser.

Samsung dissed by America

SamsungSome American commentators seem to believe that Samsung’s glory days are over but really it’s hard to put a vertically integrated company like the Korean giant down.

According to Reuters, Samsung faces some “sombre” years ahead, beset as it is by Chinese companies.

But strangely, the story from Reuters seems to think the future is bright for Apple (tick: APPL) and although it’s good to root for a home grown company, the writing is on the wall for the Cupertino company too.

The truth is – and this is a strange story to relate – the USA is largely responsible for the globalisation of the IT market. National Semiconductor kicked off the trend in Scotland before anyone knew the name NatSemi.

In our own so-called United Kingdom, ARM has proved to be a pesky competitor to Hungarian behemoth Intel.

Things change and that’s OK. It’s very nice to see the rise of contenders and we just wish the USA was a little less parochial about things outside its front door.

You can find the Reuters stuff, here.

Apple Pay is a big yawn

YawnThe Tame Apple Press dubbed 2015 as the year of “Apple Pay” when everyone would be using their Jobs’ Mob handsets to buy goods.

However it does not look like that is happening very quickly, in fact Apple’s favourite news agency –Reuters admits it is not happening at all.

Apple has aggressively courted retailers – and claimed “significant success” with half of the top merchants agreeing to use it.

However interviews with analysts, merchants and others suggest that Apple’s forecast may be too optimistic and that many retailers remain sceptical about the payment system.

Part of the problem is that it is super good for Apple, customers are locked in more tightly to its phones and its new smart watch and it collects a tithe from retailers.

That is the problem, there is absolutely no reason for cash strapped retailers to use the payment system at all, and there is a bag of pain if they do.

Reuters rang up all the top retailers and could only find four who said they have plans to join the program in the next year.

The top reasons retailers cited for not accepting Apple Pay were insufficient customer demand, a lack of access to data generated in Apple Pay transactions and the cost of technology to facilitate the payments.

Some merchants said they were holding out because they plan to participate in a new mobile payment system to be launched by a coalition of retailers later this year.

Reuters has done its best saying that Apple Pay’s market share has grown dramatically and there was more acceptance of Apple Pay. But at the end of the day, it has to admit that the system is a large turkey gobbling its way to Christmas.

Apple’s sales teams have been out in full but surprisingly its Apple fanboys have not been asking for the service at all.

Apple’s business partner in all this IBM also admits things are not going that well. Alberto Jimenez, program director for mobile payments at IBM said Apple has yet to answer the question “what is in it for us if we use Apple Pay?”

The program doesn’t offer loyalty rewards to customers, nor does it provide customer information to retailers about Apple Pay users.  In short it is a chocolate teapot.

Reuters axes news site upgrade project

Red-faced Reuters managers have had to axe a two year website project which they could not get to work.

For two years, Reuters News had been working on a next-generation website known as Reuters Next, which was supposed to overhaul the existing Reuters.com.

However the project had struggled to meet deadlines and to stay within its budget.

In an email, Andrew Rashbass, the chief executive of Reuters, said the effort had also failed to capitalise on the company’s strengths for high-quality real-time news, and its unique photography and video.

Rashbass, who was appointed in May to lead the news business, said that the project was a long way from achieving either commercial viability or strategic success.

It had been available publicly in beta form, but it had not been formally launched.

According to the New York Observer, Reuters plans instead to enhance and improve the current websites.

Hackers sell software bugs to government intelligence

Hackers are cleaning up selling back-doors to government intelligence agencies.

The New York Times found two Italian hackers working in Malta who have been making a tidy sum selling secret flaws in computer code.

It names Luigi Auriemma, 32, and Donato Ferrante, 28, who sell technical details of such vulnerabilities to countries that want to break into the computer systems of foreign adversaries.

The Times said that big buyers include the NSA and the Revolutionary Guards of Iran, although Auriemma and Ferrante did not confirm that these were their customers.

Apparently if you can find a zero day flaw in software it is better that you do not tell the software company, but contact your local spook and let them offer a bid.

Auriemma and Ferrante used to sell knowledge of coding flaws to companies like Microsoft and Apple, which would fix them, but the software companies have been priced off the market by the spooks.

Vole sharply increased the amount it was willing to pay for such flaws, raising its top offer to $150,000, but that is still not enough.

According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, Israel, Britain, Russia, India and Brazil are some of the biggest spenders. North Korea is in the market, as are some Middle Eastern intelligence services. Countries in the Asian Pacific, including Malaysia and Singapore, are also buying.

The spooks are accessible through online brokers. The most famous is one in Bangkok who goes by “the Grugq” on Twitter. His business suffered after he went public last year. 

Reuters social media editor wanted for hacking

The deputy social media editor at Reuters.com, is to be arrested for conspiring with members of the Anonymous hacking collective.

According to his employers, a federal grand jury has indicted Matthew Keys for working with the hackers to break into the computers of his former employer the Tribune.

Apparently it all happened before he joined Thomson Reuters.

Keys faces three charges including a conspiracy to transmit information to damage a protected computer. The plan apparently was to give Anonymous access to Tribune websites.

The hackers edited a story on the Tribune’s Los Angeles Times website.

Keys tweeted that he found out about the charges from Twitter and tomorrow everything will be business as usual.

A Thomson Reuters spokesperson said the indictment alleges the conduct occurred in December 2010 and Keys joined Reuters in 2012. They did not say if he was still working for them, but a Thomson Reuters employee at New York says Keys’ workstation was being dismantled and that his security pass had been deactivated.

Keys became a suspect because he had been fired in October 2010 and refused to hand over control of the Facebook and Twitter accounts he had run for Fox 40.

Keys told a colleague that he had penetrated an elite chat group used by some of the most sophisticated members of Anonymous.

He claimed to have learned of attacks on the Tribune’s Los Angeles Times, eBay’s PayPal and other companies and two days later, a story on Latimes.com was defaced.

When the Times story was altered, Keys responded “nice,” according to the indictment.

The FBI claims that Keys was playing a double game for weeks before getting kicked out of the chat group. He took screenshots of the hacking group’s chats and sent them to media outlets.

However, one of the leading figures of Anonymous, Sabu, claimed that Keys “gave full control of LATimes.com to hackers”.

Sabu, AKA Hector Xavier Monsegur, was arrested later in 2011 and turned supergrass while continuing to lead an Anonymous spinoff called LulzSec, according to court documents. 

Microsoft urged to make the iPad useful

In a classic effort of tail wagging the dog, Microsoft is being urged to make the iPad useful by introducing Office to the platform.

From Microsoft’s perspective this is crazy as it actually gives the iPad a function, something that it has largely lacked, and takes away any advantage from Vole’s own products. It also gives Apple a clearer entry into the BYOD craze.

Look at this Reuters story here. Reuters along with other outfits has taken to talking up Apple products, referring to them as “iconic”, “game changing” and other approved buzzwords,  as well as insisting that tablets are killing off the PC, another part of Cupertino’s reality distortion field.

In the above story Kurt DelBene, head of Microsoft’s Office unit, was asked a question about what Reuters dubbed the hot-selling iPad at a Morgan Stanley technology investor conference in San Francisco. The question “why don’t you make an office app for the iPad?” came from an unnamed source.

DelBene talked about online versions of Office apps, which can be accessed via a browser but do not offer the full richness of installed software. Vole had done some work with Apple to make sure that these are functional, he said.

Reuters clearly was not happy with this remark so accused him of “side-stepping questions” about any plans the software maker may have to bring its Office suite of applications to Apple’s iPad. One analyst, Morgan Stanley’s Adam Holt, claims the suite could generate $2.5 billion in extra revenue for Microsoft per year.

Reuters admitted that it would remove an incentive to buying Windows-based tablets, and would give Apple a huge cut of Office revenues but seems upset that the Vole is not doing it.

Instead it hit out at Microsoft for trying to steer clear of the topic in public.

Reuters wrote that over 100 million iPad owners, many of whom want to bring their devices to work, have to use the limited online versions of desktop staples Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Poor lambs, maybe they should buy something that does run this software. 

“The writer also pointed out that removing incentives to buy Windows tablets would be a blow to Microsoft’s flagship Windows unit, which although less profitable than Office, is still key to the company’s overall strategy.”

So Microsoft should be doing it why, then? 

Ipsos yoof survey says Microsoft's cool, innit

Last week’s signs of the apocalypse included a meteor striking Russia, a lightning bolt hitting the Vatican and Microsoft being named as a cool company.

This is according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll found that just under half of 853 respondents between the age of 18 and 29 thought Microsoft is cooler now than it was a year or two ago.

This is surprising because many have seen the Vole as being about as cool as IBM, which is right up there with your dad dancing at the school disco.

What is even weirder is that Microsoft did better in the survey than Facebook. Only 42 percent of young adults thought the world’s largest social network is cooler now than in the past. Twitter scored 47 percent, below Microsoft’s 50 percent.

One of the reasons that Microsoft is being seen as a bit cooler is of its marketing around its all-new Surface tablets, which have revamped the familiar Windows interace with a tile-based, mobile app-friendly look and feel.

Microsoft’s Xbox and the Kinect accessory has also helped Microsoft’s image with the youthful who find waving their hands in the air as cool as having their pants around their knees.

Of course, Microsoft did not do as well as Apple. About 60 percent of 18- to 29-year-old respondents still thought Apple was cooler now than in the past.

But what would alarm Apple is that Google’s Android brand did even better, with a full 70 percent thinking it was cooler than an artic skinny dipping contest.

Reuters, which has long been a cheerleader for Apple, did its best to poo-poo the statistics in its own survey, claiming that the cool factor was difficult to define – and anyway, Microsoft smells of Nintendo. 

Kinect 2 specs big news for garden gnomes

Specs for Microsoft’s Kinect 2 interface have been leaked to the great unwashed, and if you don’t want to know the final scores you should look away now.

According to VG Leaks the Kinect 2 will probably be the killer app behind the next Xbox 360 which has been dubbed Durango.

It will be able to track players with a height of one meter, feature a mode for both seated and standing players, detect hand states (such as open or closed), as well as extra and rotated joints.

Apparently it will also be able to track six rather than two active players, occluded joints, and sideways poses.

Under the bonnet is an improved field of view, resulting in much larger play space. The RGB stream will have higher quality and higher resolution as will the depth stream which should be able to resolve much smaller objects.

An active infrared stream permits lighting independent processing and feature recognition and it will be faster with pipeline latency improved by 33ms.

There is a lack of a tilt motor which is probably to make it a bit cheaper to make.

What is the most important feature is the USB 3.0 cable which will help the new version of Kinect make super fast transfers.

The leak appears to coincide with Sony’s PS4 announcement and is probably a spoiler.