Concerns About Sales of Galaxy S4 Bring Samsung Electronics
yesterday I wrote
in this tech news column about
(OTCMKTS:SSNLF) taking first place in sales with its new Galaxy S4
Verizon Communications Inc.
Sprint Nextel Corporation
T-Mobile US Inc
), three of the four major providers, with only
) being led by sales of the
). Today, however, shares of Samsung are down around 6% on the
Korea Exchange (KRX) due to a series of significant analyst
Analysts are concerned about two new stripped-down versions of the
S4 that were recently introduced, suggesting that the proposition
of cheaper phones gaining more market traction will threaten profit
margins at Samsung. As analyst Kim Young-chan of Shinhan Investment
Corp. said, "As the portion of low- to mid-range handsets is
expected to increase in Samsung's overall mobile phone business,
this has also sparked concerns about thinning margins and lower
JPMorgan Chase was one of the major firms to downgrade Samsung,
cutting its price estimate by 9.5%. Citing disappointing numbers in
supply chain checks, JPMorgan lowered its expectation for 2013
Galaxy S4 shipments from 80 million to 60 million. Another problem
for Samsung, according to analysts, has been the circulating rumors
and expectations of a cheaper iPhone launching this year.
Samsung's 6% drop in stock price equates to a loss of $12 billion
in market value.
Major Tech Companies Deny Granting Government "Direct
Access" to Servers
Yesterday morning, the Internet was astir with news of the National
Security Agency's court order that requires Verizon to hand over
customer data, and in the afternoon, the
published a story claiming that nine leading American Internet
companies allow the NSA and the FBI to directly tap into their
central servers, to access data from audio and video chats,
pictures, documents, emails, and connection logs (read that story
The paper claims it is all under a government program code-named
PRISM, launched in the latter half of George W. Bush's second term
as president, along with the Protect America Act in 2007 and the
FISA Amendment Act of 2008, which granted immunity to private
companies that would cooperate with US intelligence agencies.
According to WaPo's top secret source,
(MSFT) was the first PRISM partner.
The other eight companies allegedly part of PRISM are
(AOL), Skype, YouTube, and Apple, Inc., and all reacted to the
PRISM story by denying any involvement.
Said Apple spokesman Steve Dowling, "We have never heard of PRISM.
We do not provide any government agency with direct access to our
servers, and any government agency requesting customer data must
get a court order." The WaPo story claimed that Apple held out from
the PRISM program for five years after its launch before joining in
Who is right?
Presto! Facebook Unveils New Data Analysis Engine
At a developer conference yesterday, Facebook unveiled a new query
engine, Presto, for analyzing its mind-boggling 250 petabits of
data (one petabit is equal to 1,000 terabits, or
1,000,000,000,000,000 bits). The new engine replaces the company's
Hive engine, which is only a few years old but has become outdated
by the increasing demands of data analysis at the company.
As Facebook engineer Martin Traverso said, "The problem with Hive
is that it's designed for batch processing. We have other tools
that are faster than Hive, but they're either too limited in
functionality or too simple to operate against our huge date
warehouse. Over the past few months, we've been working on Presto
to basically fill this gap."
Beyond enabling faster queries, the Presto engine is seven times as
efficient as Hive on a CPU. As Facebook is also looking to cut down
on the amount of space its analytics takes up at data centers, this
efficiency allows the company to sustain high availability of data
with less data duplication.
Presto can run and answer simple queries in only a few hundred
milliseconds, and big, complex data queries can run in a matter of
minutes. Facebook will release the engine in open source this fall.
The Kindle Is Now Available in China
As of today, both the Kindle Fire HD and the Kindle Paperwhite
e-readers are available from
(AMZN) in China, with the Fire HD 16GB selling for 1,499 yuan
($244), the 32GB selling for 1,799 yuan ($293), and the Papewhite
selling for 849 yuan ($138).
Additionally, the Amazon e-readers will also be sold locally
through retail chains Suning and Tesco Shi in major cities.
Amazon's campaign to grow its e-reader market share in China began
in December 2012 when the company opened its online Kindle store in
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