By C.R. for The Economist 

It is not a message any frequent flyer looks forward to receiving. On 7 September, British Airways (BA) said it had emailed over 380 000 customers who had booked flights with the carrier between 21 August and 5 September admitting that their credit-card details had been stolen by hackers.

BA’s embattled chief executive, Alex Cruz, attributed the breach to a “malicious, fairly sophisticated attack” on its website. The airline thinks the hackers obtained names, street and e-mail addresses, and credit-card numbers, expiry dates and security codes—more than enough information to steal money from bank and credit-card accounts.

Mr Cruz has promised compensation for any customers financially affected by the hack.

The airline has not released the full details of what happened, and is still investigating the breach. But it has admitted that it was only data used in transactions in that 15-day period, not saved credit-card data on customer accounts, that was stolen.

Cyber-security experts say that hack sounds like it breached the system that managed customer payments, unlike previous attacks on other big companies where saved data was stolen.

Whatever the cause of the attack, aviation analysts think BA is likely to be hit hard by fines from regulators. Under the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation, which came into force in May, BA could face a fine of up to 4% of its revenues if it is determined that it did not do enough to protect customer information.

That would be around £500m ($650m). If regulators decide that the penalty should be levied on the entire revenues of IAG, BA’s parent, that number could swell to as much as €1bn ($1.16bn). After adding the cost of compensating customers affected by the breach, it is no wonder that the group’s shares dropped in value by 2% on the morning the news became public.

But analysts are wary about saying that the hack will affect BA or IAG’s longer term performance.

BA has been hit by a serious of complaints about falling standards of service on its flight and by a computer crash that stranded 75,000 of its passengers last May. Mr Cruz has been crucified in the media for both public-relations meltdowns. Yet neither issue has really affected demand for BA flights.

So why do BA passengers keep coming back to the airline, in spite of it losing their credit-card data, checked-in baggage and taking away free nosh onboard? The answer is that they have little choice.

New airlines simply cannot take market share away from BA at Heathrow. As long as it uses each take-off and landing slot it is allocated 80% of the time, it can keep it for the next season. As a result, the share of slots at Heathrow owned by BA’s parent has risen from 36% in 1999 to 54%. It has also been gobbling up slots at Gatwick from defunct airlines such as Monarch, to make sure Norwegian, a disruptive long-haul low-cost competitor, cannot get their hands on them.

However much the airline’s computer systems go wrong or it cuts back its level of service onboard, new competitors cannot push it off the runway. Another IT disaster will not change that.

Amazon reaches $1trn value

By Bryan Rich for Forbes 

Today, Amazon became the second company (following Apple) to cross the one trillion-dollar valuation threshold.

This stock is up 72% year-to-date. It has doubled in the past year and has nearly tripled since Trump’s election. That’s what happens when you have a pour gasoline (economic growth) on a fire (a monopoly). No one should love Trump more than Jeff Bezos.

But at 161 times earnings, the market seems to be betting on the Amazon monopoly being left to corner all of the world’s industries. That’s a bad bet.

Much like China undercut the competition on price and cornered the world’s export market, Amazon has undercut the retail industry on price, and cornered the world’s retail business. That tipping point (on retail) has well passed. And as sales growth accelerates for Amazon, so does the speed at which competition is being destroyed. But Amazon is now moving aggressively into almost every industry. This company has to be/will be broken up.

The question is, how will the market value an e-commerce business that would no longer be subsidised by the high margin Amazon cloud business (AWS)? A separation of the businesses would put Amazon’s e-commerce margins under the Wall Street microscope (as every other retailer is subjected to) and materially impact a key sales growth driver for Amazon, which is investment in innovation (R&D).

By Mark Bergen and Jennifer Surane for Bloomberg / Fin24 

For the past year, select Google advertisers have had access to a potent new tool to track whether the ads they ran online led to a sale at a physical store in the US. That insight came thanks in part to a stockpile of Mastercard transactions that Google paid for.

But most of the two billion Mastercard holders aren’t aware of this behind-the-scenes tracking. That’s because the companies never told the public about the arrangement.

Google and Mastercard brokered a business partnership during about four years of negotiations, according to four people with knowledge of the deal, three of whom worked on it directly.

The alliance gave Google an unprecedented asset for measuring retail spending, part of the search giant’s strategy to fortify its primary business against onslaughts from Amazon.com and others.

But the deal, which has not been previously reported, could raise broader privacy concerns about how much consumer data technology companies like Google quietly absorb.

“People don’t expect what they buy physically in a store to be linked to what they are buying online,” said Christine Bannan, counsel with the advocacy group Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC).

“There’s just far too much burden that companies place on consumers and not enough responsibility being taken by companies to inform users what they’re doing and what rights they have.”

Google paid Mastercard millions of dollars for the data, according to two people who worked on the deal, and the companies discussed sharing a portion of the ad revenue, according to one of the people. The people asked not to be identified discussing private matters.

A spokesperson for Google said there was no revenue sharing agreement with its partners.

A Google spokesperson declined to comment on the partnership with Mastercard but addressed the ads tool. “Before we launched this beta product last year, we built a new, double-blind encryption technology that prevents both Google and our partners from viewing our respective users’ personally identifiable information,” the company said in a statement.

“We do not have access to any personal information from our partners’ credit and debit cards, nor do we share any personal information with our partners.” The company said people can opt out of ad tracking using Google’s “Web and App Activity” online console.

Inside Google, multiple people raised objections that the service did not have a more obvious way for cardholders to opt out of the tracking, one of the people said.

Seth Eisen, a Mastercard spokesperson, also declined to comment specifically on Google. But he said Mastercard shares transaction trends with merchants and their service providers to help them measure “the effectiveness of their advertising campaigns.” The information, which includes sales volumes and average size of the purchase, is shared only with permission of the merchants, Eisen added. “No individual transaction or personal data is provided,” he said in a statement.

“We do not provide insights that track, serve up ads to, or even measure ad effectiveness relating to, individual consumers.”

Last year, when Google announced the service, called “Store Sales Measurement,” the company just said it had access to “approximately 70%” of US credit and debit cards through partners, without naming them.

More possible deals

That 70% could mean that the company has deals with other credit card companies, totalling 70% of the people who use credit and debit cards. Or it could mean that the company has deals with companies that include all card users, and 70% of those are logged into Google accounts like Gmail when they click on a Google search ad.

Google has approached other payment companies about the program, according to two people familiar with the conversations, but it is not clear if they finalised similar deals. The people asked to not be identified because they were not authorised to speak about the matter.

Google confirmed that the service only applies to people who are logged in to one of its accounts and have not opted out of ad tracking. Purchases made on Mastercard-branded cards accounted for around a quarter of US volumes last year, according to the Nilson Report, a financial research firm.

Through this test programme, Google can anonymously match these existing user profiles to purchases made in physical stores. The result is powerful: Google knows that people clicked on ads and can now tell advertisers that this activity led to actual store sales.

Google is testing the data service with a “small group” of advertisers in the US, according to a spokesperson. With it, marketers see aggregate sales figures and estimates of how many they can attribute to Google ads – but they don’t see a shoppers’ personal information, how much they spend or what exactly they buy.

The tests are only available for retailers, not the companies that make the items sold inside stores, the spokesperson said. The service only applies to its search and shopping ads, she said.

For Google, the Mastercard deal fits into a broad effort to net more retail spending. Advertisers spend lavishly on Google to glean valuable insight into the link between digital ads a website visit or an online purchase.

It’s harder to tell how ads influence offline behaviour. That’s a particular frustration for companies marketing items like apparel or home goods, which people will often research online but walk into actual stores to buy.

That gap created a demand for Google to find ways for its biggest customers to gauge offline sales, and then connect them to the promotions they run on Google.

“Google needs to tie that activity back to a click,” said Joseph McConellogue, head of online retail for the ad agency Reprise Digital. “Most advertisers are champing at the bit for this kind of integration.”

Initially, Google devised its own solution, a mobile payments service first called Google Wallet. Part of the original goal was to tie clicks on ads to purchases in physical stores, according to someone who worked on the product.

But adoption never took off, so Google began looking for allies. A spokesperson said its payments service was never used for ads measurement.

So Google added more …

Since 2014, Google has flagged for advertisers when someone who clicked an ad visits a physical store, using the Location History feature in Google Maps. Still, the advertiser didn’t know if the shopper made a purchase. So, Google added more. A tool, introduced the following year, let advertisers upload email addresses of customers they’ve collected into Google’s ad-buying system, which then encrypted them.

Additionally, Google layered on inputs from third-party data brokers, such as Experian and Acxiom, which draw in demographic and financial information for marketers.

But those tactics didn’t always translate to more ad spending. Retail outlets weren’t able to connect the emails easily to their ads. And the information they received from data brokers about sales was imprecise or too late.

Marketing executives didn’t adopt these location tools en masse, said Christina Malcolm, director at the digital ad agency iProspect. “It didn’t give them what they needed to go back to their bosses and tell them, ‘We’re hitting our numbers,’” she said.

Then Google brought in card data. In May 2017, the company introduced “Store Sales Measurement.” It had two components. The first lets companies with personal information on consumers, like encrypted email addresses, upload those into Google’s system and synchronise ad buys with offline sales. The second injects card data.

It works like this: a person searches for “red lipstick” on Google, clicks on an ad, surfs the web but doesn’t buy anything. Later, she walks into a store and buys red lipstick with her Mastercard.

The advertiser who ran the ad is fed a report from Google, listing the sale along with other transactions in a column that reads “Offline Revenue” – only if the web surfer is logged into a Google account online and made the purchase within 30 days of clicking the ad. The advertisers are given a bulk report with the percentage of shoppers who clicked or viewed an ad then made a relevant purchase.

Most powerful tool

It’s not an exact match, but it’s the most powerful tool Google, the world’s largest ad seller, has offered for shopping in the real world. Marketers once had a patchwork of consumer data in their hands to triangulate who saw their ads and who was prompted to spend. Now they had far more clarity.

Google’s ad chief, Sridhar Ramaswamy, introduced the product in a blog post, writing that advertisers using it would have “no time-consuming setup or costly integrations.” Missing from the blog post was the arrangement with Mastercard.

Early signs indicate that the deal has been a boon for Google. The new feature also plugs transaction data into advertiser systems as soon as they occur, fixing the lag that existed previously and letting Google slot in better-performing ads.

Malcolm said her agency has tested the card measurement tool with a major advertiser, which she declined to name. Beforehand, the company received $5.70 in revenue for every dollar spent on marketing in the ad campaign with Google, according to an iProspect analysis. With the new transaction feature, the return nearly doubled to $10.60.

“That’s really powerful,” Malcolm said. “And it was a really good way to invest more in Google, frankly.”

But some privacy critics derided the tool as opaque. EPIC submitted a complaint about the sales measuring tack to the US Federal Trade Commission last year. A report in August that Facebook Inc. was talking with banks about accessing information for consumer service products sparked similar criticism. For years, Facebook and Google have worked to link their massive troves of user behaviour with consumer financial data.

And financial companies have plotted ways to tap into the bounty of digital advertising. The Google tie-up isn’t Mastercard’s only stab at minting the data it collects from customers. The company has built out its data and analytics capabilities in recent years through its consulting arm, Mastercard Advisors, and gives advertisers and merchants the ability to forecast consumer behaviour based on cardholder data.

Ad buyers that work with Google insist that the company is careful to maintain the walls between transaction information and web behaviour, keeping any info flowing to retailers and marketers anonymous. “Google is really strict about that,” said Malcolm.

Before launching the product, Google developed a novel encryption method, according to Jules Polonetsky, head of the Future Privacy Forum, who was briefed by Google on the product. He explained that the system ensures that neither Google nor its payments partners have access to the data that each collect.

“They’re sharing data that has been so transformed that, if put in the public, no party could do anything with it,” Polonetsky said. “It doesn’t create a privacy risk.”

Future Privacy Forum, a non-profit, receives funding from 160 companies including Google.

Google’s ad business, which hit $95.4bn in 2017 sales, has maintained an astounding growth rate of about 20% a year. But investors have worried how long that can last. Many major advertisers are starting to funnel more spending to rival Amazon, the company that hosts far more, and more granular, data on online shopping.

In response, Google has continued to push deeper into offline measurements. The company, like Facebook and Twitter, has explored the use of “beacons,” Bluetooth devices that track when shoppers enter stores.

Some ad agencies have actively talked to Google about even more ways to better size up offline behaviours. They have discussed adding features into the ads system such as what time of day people buy items and how much they spend, said John Malysiak, who runs search marketing for the Omnicom agency OMD USA.

“We’re trying to go deeper with Google,” he said. “We’d like to understand more.” Google declined to comment on the discussions.

What do Millennials want at work?

Analysing and interpreting Millennials is an industry in itself, but are they really as different as experts would have us believe – especially when it comes to the workplace?

Richard Andrews, MD of Inspiration Office, says, “While pointed descriptions of what makes Millennials unique are presented as self-evident, very few are supported with solid empirical research.

“On the contrary, a growing body of evidence suggests that employees of all ages are much more alike than different in their attitudes and values at work.

“If gaps do exist, they amount to small differences that have always existed between younger and older workers throughout history and have little to do with the Millennial generation.”

And there are plenty of examples as evidence.

“Even the most widely accepted stereotypes about Millennials appear to be questionable” Andrews noted, pointing to a recent study by IBM’s Institute for Business Value. The report entitled Myths, Exaggerations and Uncomfortable Truths – The real story behind Millennials in the workplace was based on a multigenerational study of 1 784 employees from companies across 12 countries and six industries. It found that about the same percentage of Millennials (25%) want to make a positive impact on their organisation as Gen Xers (21%) and Baby Boomers (23%). Differences were uniformly minimal across nine other variables as well.

A 2015 study commissioned by international business broadcaster CNBC showed similar results.

“Looking at the importance of six traits in a potential employer — ethics, environmental practices, work-life balance, profitability, diversity and reputation for hiring the best and brightest — the CNBC study found found that Millennial preferences are just about the same as the broader population on all six.

“In fact, contrary to the hard-to-please image, Millennials reported being more satisfied with the training and skills development they receive. And 76% were satisfied with their opportunities for promotion, 10 percentage points higher than the rest of the population.”

A KPMG study also showed Millennials also to also be virtually identical to their older colleagues on every measure of overall engagement such as pride in the organisation, optimism about the firm’s future and trust in leadership.

So why do so many people perceive Millennials as so different? An interesting study was carried out by researchers from George Washington University in which they reviewed 20 studies examining generational differences.

“The conclusion was that meaningful differences among generations probably do not exist in the workplace. The small differences that do appear are likely attributable to factors such as stage of life more than generational membership, “ Andrews notes.

“For example, one of the prevailing perceptions of Millennials is that they have much higher traits of narcissism. But interestingly, this study shows it’s a trait more associated with young people, and not linked to when you were born.”

Andrews added that the myth of the job-hopping Millennial is just that — a myth. The data consistently showed that today’s young people are actually less likely to job hop than previous generations.

In light of all this evidence, it’s likely that companies pursuing Millennial-specific employee engagement strategies are wasting time and money.

“They would be far better served to focus on factors that lead all employees to join, stay, and perform at their best,” Andrews added. “And those factors are the same for all workers – a winning organisation they can be proud of, an environment in which they can make the most of their skills, good pay and fair treatment and enjoyable, fulfilling work.”

The dangers of instant EFT services

By Jamie McKane for MyBroadband

Sending money to others over EFT is a common action, but these transactions can take some time if you do not pay an additional fee for express payment.

To circumvent express fees and improve the transfer time of EFTs, many South Africans opt to use third-party instant EFT services.

Using third-party instant EFT platforms requires the user to supply the provider with their online banking details, including their username and password.

The instant EFT service then logs into the user’s online banking account and makes the transaction on their behalf, with the user receiving an OTP confirmation.

While this can result in faster EFTs, it also places the user at risk of having their online banking credentials compromised – and can be a violation of a bank’s terms and conditions.

MyBroadband asked major South African banks about their stance on instant EFT services and the possible security risks involved in using these platforms.

Absa
Absa told MyBroadband it does not approve third-party EFT services.

“Absa does not approve of third-party service providers who utilise screen scraping to facilitate these EFT payments,” the bank said.

“Only approved vendors will be allowed to enter the Absa domain to facilitate third-party EFT services via secure API.”

Absa added that customers who use these services would be liable in the event of their credentials being compromised, as they provided them to the third-party service.

“Absa’s terms and conditions stipulate that customers should never provide their security information to anyone,” Absa said.

“Should customers knowingly provide third-party vendors with their online banking logon details, the customer will be held liable in the event of cybercrime.”

Absa added that it is in the process of enabling more secure connection models via the utilisation of secure API’s for use by third-party payment service providers.

FNB
FNB EFT Product House CEO Ravi Shunmugam told MyBroadband they do not support third-party instant EFT providers.

“FNB does not support the practice of third-party services providers requesting customers to enter their banking login credentials into third-party websites or applications,” Shunmugam said.

“The bank is working with the payments industry bodies, PASA and SABRIC to highlight this practice and potential risks to customers at an industry level.”

“These services are not PCI DSS-certified and we are working with the industry to have similar standards established and enforced,” he added.

Shunmugam said that customers should not share their online banking credentials with any third parties.

“We would like to remind our customers not to enter their login credentials into any third-party website or application and to safeguard their login credentials at all times.”

Shunmugam said customers who have entered their login credentials in any website or application other than their bank’s platforms are advised to change their passwords.

Nedbank
Nedbank Emerging Payments head of business development Clinton Leask said that clients voluntarily disclosing their banking credentials to third-party EFT services were putting themselves at risk.

“We continually advise our clients to ensure the safekeeping and confidentiality of their banking information and not disclose such information to unknown or unauthorised third parties,” Leask told MyBroadband.

“In instances where clients voluntarily disclose their confidential information to a third-party they put themselves at risk by giving third parties the ability to access information about their accounts, banking history, and other confidential information,” he added.

“Consumers currently have the ability to effect instant payments, other than instant EFT, with real time credit payments, which is accessible via Internet banking and with card via 3DSecure.”

Standard Bank
MyBroadband contacted Standard Bank for comment, but the bank did not provide feedback.

Trump accuses Google of biased searches

By Darlene Superville and Barbara Ortutay for WWayTV3 

President Donald Trump on Tuesday accused Google and other U.S. tech companies of rigging search results about him “so that almost all stories & news is BAD.” He offered no evidence of bias, but a top adviser said the White House is “taking a look” at whether Google should face federal regulation.

Google pushed back sharply, saying Trump’s claim simply wasn’t so: “We never rank search results to manipulate political sentiment.”

The president’s tweets echoed his familiar attacks on the news media — and a conservative talking point that California-based tech companies run by CEOs with liberal leanings don’t give equal weight to opposing political viewpoints. They also revealed anew his deep-seated frustration he doesn’t get the credit he believes he deserves.

The president, who has said he runs on little sleep, jumped onto Twitter before dawn Tuesday to rehash his recent complaints about alleged suppression of conservative voices and positive news about him.

Related Article: Las Vegas shooting leaves GOP-backed gun bills in limbo
He followed that up with vague threats in Oval Office comments.

“I think Google has really taken advantage of a lot of people, and I think that’s a very serious thing. That’s a very serious charge,” Trump said, adding that Google, Twitter, Facebook and others “better be careful, because you can’t do that to people.”

Trump claimed that “we have literally thousands and thousands of complaints coming in. … So I think that Google and Twitter and Facebook, they’re really treading on very, very troubled territory and they have to be careful.”

Larry Kudlow, the president’s top economic adviser, told reporters later that the White House is “taking a look” at whether Google searches should be subject to some government regulation. That would be a noteworthy development since Trump often points proudly to his cutting of government regulations as a spur for economic gains.

In his tweets, Trump said — without offering evidence — that “Google search results for ‘Trump News’ shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake New Media. In other words, they have it RIGGED, for me & others, so that almost all stories & news is BAD. Fake CNN is prominent. Republican/Conservative & Fair Media is shut out. Illegal?” He added, again with no evidence, that “96% of results on “Trump News” are from National Left-Wing Media, very dangerous.”

A search query Tuesday morning, several hours after the president tweeted, showed stories from CNN, ABC News, Fox News and the MarketWatch business site, among others. A similar search later in the day for “Trump” had Fox News, the president’s favored cable network, among the top results.

Google, based in Mountain View, California, said its aim is to make sure its search engine users quickly get the most relevant answers.

“Search is not used to set a political agenda and we don’t bias our results toward any political ideology,” the company said in a statement. “Every year, we issue hundreds of improvements to our algorithms to ensure they surface high-quality content in response to users’ queries. We continually work to improve Google Search and we never rank search results to manipulate political sentiment.”

Experts suggested that Trump’s comments showed a misunderstanding of how search engines work.

Google searches aim to surface the most relevant pages in response to a user’s query, even before he or she finishes typing. The answers that appear first are the ones Google’s formulas, with some help from human content reviewers, deem to be the most authoritative, informative and relevant. Many factors help decide the initial results, including how much time people spend on a page, how many other pages link to it, how well it’s designed and more.

Trump and some supporters have long accused Silicon Valley companies of being biased against them. While some company executives may lean liberal, they have long asserted that their products are without political bias.

Media analyst Ken Doctor said it doesn’t make sense for mass-market businesses like Google to lean either way politically. He characterized the complaints as a “sign of our times,” adding that, years ago, if the head of General Electric was supporting a Republican candidate, people who disagreed wouldn’t then go out and boycott GE products.

“The temperature has risen on this,” Doctor said.

Steven Andres, who teaches about management information systems at San Diego State University, said people often assume that if you give a computer the same inputs no matter where you are that you “get the same outputs.”

But it doesn’t work that way, he said. “You’re seeing different things every moment of the day and the algorithms are always trying to change the results.”

Trump didn’t say what he based his tweets on. But conservative activist Paula Boylard had said in a weekend blog post that she found “blatant prioritization of left-leaning and anti-Trump media outlets” in search results.

Boylard based her judgments on the political leanings of media outlets on a list by Sharyl Attkisson, host of Sinclair Television’s “Full Measure” and author of “The Smear: How Shady Political Operatives and Fake News Control What You See, Think, and How You Vote.” Sinclair is a significant outlet for conservative views.

Trump began complaining about the issue earlier this month as social media companies moved to ban right-wing “Infowars” conspiracy theorist Alex Jonesfrom their platforms. The president also argues regularly — and falsely — that the news media avoid writing positive stories about him and his administration.

Jones is being sued for saying the 2012 shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School was staged. Jones has since said he believes the shooting did occur and has argued that the lawsuit should be dismissed because he was acting as a journalist.

Trump has praised Jones’ “amazing” reputation.

The issue is also of concern on Capitol Hill, where the House Energy and Commerce Committee, chaired by Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., recently announced that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is scheduled to testify before the panel on Sept. 5 about the platform’s algorithms and content monitoring.

By Bryan Smith for Coin Insider 

Eran Eyal, a South African-educated technology entrepreneur who now lives in the US, is facing criminal charges in the New York for allegedly stealing more than US$600 000 from investors.

According to a new release from New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood, South African Eran Eyal – former CEO of Springleap and incumbent CEO of Shopin – has formally been charged with fraudulently soliciting investors, making false representations, and for computer crimes during his tenure with the former company.

Underwood’s statement outlines that Eyal allegedly stole as much as $600,000 USD from investors by ‘fraudulently soliciting investors’ to ‘purchase convertible notes through false representations of his company.’

In a statement to the press, Underwood outlined that “As we allege, this massive securities fraud scheme bilked investors out of hundreds of thousands of dollars… Defrauding New Yorkers through false representations and fabrications about a business will not be tolerated by my office – and we’ll continue to do what it takes to root out and prosecute securities fraud.”

Springleap – a global crowdsourcing company – has now been alleged to have made false representations about its management team and pool of professionals, and fabricated the existence of several senior staff members and an Advisory Board.

Further, Underwood’s office cites that Springleap’s community of over 180,000 creative professionals was fabricated by means of hiring a ‘freelance computer hacker to web-scrape computer data from a legitimate online portfolio website in order to obtain pedigree information for creative professionals to falsely inflate his existing list’.

In cryptocurrency circles, Eyal serves as the CEO and founder of Shopin – a platform touting itself as the “world’s first decentralized shopper profile built on the blockchain.”

Shopin concluded its private pre-sale on January 27th this year, reportedly raising as much as $10 million USD. The platform claims to have raked in $32.5 million USD through its public pre-sale on March 30th, and apparently concluded its token generation event with a total of $42.5 million USD.

Eyal faces no charges for his activities or role with Shopin.

As Underwood’s office outlines, Eyal presently faces three counts of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, one count of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, one count of Unlawful Duplication of Computer Related Material in the First Degree, one count of Criminal Possession of Computer Related Material), one count of Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, and four counts of Securities Fraud under the Martin Act. If convicted, Eyal would face between five to fifteen years in prison.

Eyal has not made public comment since the announcement of his indictment, while Shopin itself has not issued public word on the charges laid against its CEO at press time.

HP posts upbeat results, boosts outlook

Source: Financial Times 

Hewlett Packard Enterprise posted upbeat quarterly results and issued a rosier outlook that topped analyst forecasts, sending shares higher.

HPE — the enterprise technology business that split off from HP Inc’s PCs and printers unit — says its fiscal third quarter net revenue climbed 4% from a year ago to $7.76-billion — or a 1% rise when adjusted for currency effects.

That topped analyst forecasts for $7.68-billion, according to a Thomson Reuters survey.

Revenues in hybrid IT — its largest division, which includes computer systems with storage and networking functions — rose 3% from a year ago to $6.2-billion.

In its so-called Intelligent Edge division, which is developing decentralised “Internet of things” technology that allows data to be processed at the point of collection, revenues were up 10% from a year ago to $785m, while financial services revenues rose 3% to $928-million.

Net income rose to $451-million or 29 cents a share in the three months ended in July, up from $165-million or 10 cents a share in the year ago quarter.

Adjusting for one-time items, earnings of 44 cents a share, handily topped forecasts of 37 cents.

“HPE has delivered a strong Q3 and our results prove we have the right strategy to deliver in the areas of highest value for our customers,” says Antonio Neri, chief executive officer.

“Solid execution across each of our business segments, combined with market momentum, will enable us to deliver FY18 revenue and earnings well beyond our original outlook,” he adds.

The company also lifted its full-year earnings outlook again, to a range of $1.85 to $1.90, up from $1.70 to $1.80 previously.

On an adjusted basis, the company now expects to report earnings of between $1.50 to $1.55 a share, up from $1.40 to $1.50 previously. That also exceeded Wall Street’s projections of $1.46.

For the current quarter, HPE forecast adjusted earnings of between 39 to 44 cents a share.

The Palo Alto-based company also says it appointed Tarek Robbiati as its new finance chief effective September 17. Mr Robbiati, who most recently served as finance chief at Sprint, will succeed Tim Stonesifer, who will remain with the company through the end of October.

HPE shares, which are up nearly 17% year-to-date, climbed 1.4% in extended trade to $16.98.

See just how much YouTube you really watch

By Chris Welch for The Verge 

In keeping with Google’s push into digital well-being, YouTube is continuing to roll out more tools that give users a clearer overview of their usage habits. When users open their account menu, they’ll now see an updated profile that shows the amount of time they’ve viewed videos that day, the previous day, and over the last week.

“Our goal is to provide a better understanding of time spent on YouTube, so you can make informed decisions about how you want YouTube to best fit into your life,” the company wrote in its blog post. YouTube pulls these stats from your watch history, so if you’ve got that option disabled for privacy reasons, it’s not entirely clear if you’ll get the usage breakdown or not. We’ve asked YouTube for clarification. Hopefully, the service is at least smart enough to know when you’re watching something and calculate that time.

YouTube Music and YouTube TV do not count toward the “time watched” profile.

The new, more thorough user profile comes in addition to other recent features YouTube has rolled out to help its users “better understand their tech usage, focus on what matters most and disconnect when needed.”

The service has already added optional reminders to take a break during extended viewing, and you can also choose to streamline all of your usual YouTube notifications into a condensed, once-per-day “digest” that pings your device at a time of your choosing. By default, YouTube now silences notifications — so they won’t cause sounds or phone vibrations — between the hours of 10PM and 8AM. You can opt to disable this or adjust the quiet notification hours to your own schedule.

YouTube joins other tech giants, including parent company Google, Apple, Facebook, and Instagram, in adding greater detail and transparency about the minutes and hours that people can spend using their apps daily. As always, acting on the information is up to you, but at least it’s now readily accessible.

By Gabriella Steyn for IOL 

The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) will soon launch a new online booking platform for South Africans to get their driver’s license.

First launched in the City of Tshwane, the system allows users to make an appointment to renew their driver’s license and also offers a delivery service that will deliver you a new card to you through MDS Collivery.

The RTMC said that waiting in long queues will soon be a thing of the past.

“The platform will ease the process of applying for vehicle driving licenses and combat corruption by minimising the manipulation of the process by unscrupulous officials,” said the RTMC in a statement.

The RTMC said that the current process requires applicants to queue for between 140-180 minutes at a testing station. “This process is also fraught with corruption as officials at the licensing centres have an incentive to withhold available bookings for lucrative payments from willing applicants,” said the RTMC.

They believe that this platform will promote efficient service delivery.

“When it is launched later this month, the solution will benefit the public by removing barriers to access, eliminating fraud and corruption, and optimising business operations.”

The system will first be available to people making their applications in Gauteng before it will gradually expand to other parts of the country.

Bookings for Gauteng can be done through The Online Company SA.

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My Office News Ⓒ 2017 - Designed by A Collective


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