Microsoft has posted the results of the fourth quarter of its 2018 financial year, running up until June 30, 2018. Revenue was $30.1 billion (up 17 percent year-on-year), operating income was $10.4 billion (up 35 percent), net income was $8.8 billion (a rise of 10 percent), and earnings per share were $1.14 (an increase of 11 percent). This brings the full-year revenue to $110.4 billion (up 14 percent on the 2017 financial year), with operating income of $35.1 billion (up 21 percent) and net income of $16.6 billion, a drop of 35 percent, attributed to the impact of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act's $13.8 billion repatriation tax. Without that, the company would have been looking at a net income of $30.3 billion, up 18 percent on 2017. Microsoft currently has three reporting segments: Productivity and Business Processes (covering Office, Exchange, SharePoint, Skype, and Dynamics), Intelligent Cloud (including Azure, Windows Server, SQL Server, Visual Studio, and Enterprise Services), and More … [Read more...] about Microsoft posts bumper Q4, with Windows, Surface, Azure all up
Complaining about airlines on Twitter is a universal pastime for disgruntled travelers, and yet somehow British Airways has managed to turn the activity into a data privacy debacle of its own doing. Security researcher and PhD student Mustafa Al-Bassam discovered yesterday that the airline’s social media team was demanding customers post a trove of personal information publicly on Twitter, so it could help investigate customer service claims. That included passport numbers, full addresses, and other sensitive info, as reported earlier today by TechCrunch. Even weirder: the airline kept insisting this was to “comply with GDPR,” which is the General Data Protection Regulation. It’s the EU’s new widespread consumer privacy law designed to keep companies from collecting and selling personal information of internet users without their consent. So it doesn’t make much sense why British Airways would require customers post their personal information on … [Read more...] about British Airways asked customers to post personal information on Twitter ‘to comply with GDPR’
While Apple's redesigned keyboards in the new MacBook Pro models are made to be quieter, they also appear to be designed to prevent another problem. According to a document sent to Apple Authorized Service Providers and obtained by MacRumors, the new keys have a "membrane" underneath that helps "prevent debris" from getting into the butterfly mechanism. "The keyboard has a membrane under the keycaps to prevent debris from entering the butterfly mechanism," state the Canadian and European versions of the document. "The procedure for the space bar replacement has also changed from the previous model. Repair documentation and service videos will be available when keycap parts begin shipping." The US version of the document doesn't mention the membrane specifically. However, it does link to another document entitled Butterfly Mechanism Keycap Replacement MacBook Pro (2018), which references the membrane under the keycaps as a method of stopping debris from entering the … [Read more...] about New MacBook Pro keyboard design may fix dust problems after all
Project Loon, the Internet-delivering balloon system that grew out of Alphabet's Project X division, has announced its first commercial deal. According to multiple reports, the recent Project X graduates will partner with Telkom Kenya to increase connectivity in the country. “Connectivity is critical. If you are not online, you are left out,” Joe Mucheru, Kenya's information, communication, and technology minister, told Reuters. "Loon is another technology that is being introduced that the licensed operators hopefully can be able to use.” Public details of the deal appear scarce for now—no firm timeframe for deployment or financial details were available as of press time. The BBC notes that with this new partnership, Telkom Kenya will provide the Internet signal, and Loon will spread it over remote areas of Kenya. Loon initially started in 2011 within Alphabet/then-Google's experimental Project X division. The basic idea was that, instead of building … [Read more...] about Project Loon signs its first deal for Internet-delivering balloons—in Kenya
Coming soon to a smartphone near you: it's Gorilla Glass 6, the latest version of Corning's ubiquitous smartphone display cover. Gorilla Glass typically sits between the display and the outside world, protecting your precious pixels from damage. Lately, manufacturers have been using it for the back of the phone, too. Every year, Corning says the newest version of Gorilla Glass is better than the last. Gorilla Glass 4 survived drops "up to 80 percent of the time" when dropped "face down from one meter," while Gorilla Glass 5 survived "80 percent of the time" from 1.6-meter drops onto a rough surface. This new glass concoction is designed to take multiple drops, though, with Corning saying it can survive "15 drops from 1 meter onto rough surfaces." (One meter is a little more than three feet.) This year, the company is tackling repeated damage that is inflicted on a display. While a brand new piece of Gorilla Glass might survive any single drop, the micro abrasions incurred from … [Read more...] about Gorilla Glass 6 tackles the problem of cumulative smartphone damage
More than 2,500 AI researchers have vowed to steer clear of lethal autonomous weapons. Google DeepMind and resident robot pessimist Elon Musk are among the organizations and individuals who pledged to neither participate in nor support the manufacture of artificially intelligent armaments. “Artificial intelligence (AI) is poised to play an increasing role in military systems,” according to the letter published by the Future of Life Institute. “There is an urgent opportunity and necessity for citizens, policymakers, and leaders to distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable uses of AI.” The pledge comes less than a year after the Institute released a short film, appropriately titled “Slaughterbots,” as part of its Campaign to Stop Killer Robots. Designed to resemble actual events, the video highlights a future (or, more likely, a present) in which palm-sized drones can take out a single human with “surgical precision.” A world where … [Read more...] about AI Experts Stand Up to Lethal Autonomous Weapons
One of the things that to me sums up the utter futility of existence and the inevitability of humanity's eventual extinction is the fact that the world is slowing down. About every 18 months or so, the Earth takes about a second longer to rotate on its axis, ever so slowly grinding to a halt. There's at least a possibility that when this happens, the Earth will be tidally locked to the Sun, with one side in sun-scorched perpetual daylight (probably Texas, they frankly won't notice the extra heat) and the other side eternally dark. The future is really bleak. But between now and then, we have to handle the problem of keeping track of the time. There are two main sources of time; a whole bunch of atomic clocks averaged together to produce International Atomic Time, and the astronomical time that comes from measuring how long the earth actually takes to spin on its axis. This latter time, named UTC ("coordinated universal time"), is used in science and engineering. For most purposes, … [Read more...] about Windows 10 will get better at telling the time with new leap second support
Ahh, I remember the halcyon days of the late-90s internet, where strangers from all over the globe would meet in AOL chat rooms and type “A / S / L” at each other over and over again. Well, Reddit is looking to bring this era back with Reddit Chat, a feature that’s being rolled out across subreddits. In a blog post on the site, u/ityoclys analyzed their time with the feature. For the past year, around 7,000 people have had a chance to test out the chat feature. The reason for starting Reddit Chat – according to the company at least – was that “most people didn’t personally know other [R]edditors.” In other words, it was a community-based decision. My opinion? It’s more likely a move to improve engagement, as I’m sure droves of individuals leave the site if they want to have a direct conversation. If done well, Reddit Chat might make them stick around. The post is, unsurprisingly, very positive about the feature, with one … [Read more...] about Reddit rolls out subreddit chatrooms – what could possibly go wrong?
Ahh, I remember the halcyon days of the late-90s internet, where strangers from all over the globe would meet in AOL chat rooms and type “A / S / L” at each other over and over again. Well, Reddit is looking to bring this era back with Reddit Chat, a feature that’s being rolled out across subreddits. In a blog post on the site, u/ityoclys analyzed their time with the feature. For the past year, around 7,000 people have had a chance to test out the chat feature. The reason for starting Reddit Chat – according to the company at least – was that “most people didn’t personally know other [R]edditors.” In other words, it was a community-based decision. My opinion? It’s more likely a move to improve engagement, as I’m sure droves of individuals leave the site if they want to have a direct conversation. If done well, Reddit Chat might make them stick around. The post is, unsurprisingly, very positive about the feature, with one … [Read more...] about Reddit rolls subreddit chatrooms – what could possibly go wrong?
Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT), a crowdsourced enterprise, has reportedly struck a deal with China to build a test track in the Chinese province of Guizhou. Engadgetreported that the track will cover a distance of 10 km. While that sounds like a lot, it’s actually too short a length to allow HTT’s vehicle to reach speeds of above 1000 kmph, which is what the company promised to achieve with its operations in full swing. Since China rarely allows foreign companies to operate without local connections, a deal was struck by HTT to start the project as a domestic entity. The partnership with the Chinese city Tongren will see HTT develop the technology, providing engineering expertise, and designing the essential equipment, while the city will aid in certifying the tube, drafting regulations, and infrastructure construction. Investment for the project will be split, with half coming from the city, and the other half from HTT. The company may either provide funds … [Read more...] about Hyperloop TT reportedly strikes deal to build test track in China