) took a thrashing last week, while
) continued to rise.
Facebook Pays for Government Spying
Facebook shares plunged nearly 6% last Monday following a
couple of news reports about the repercussions of government
spying actions. Facebook, along with other technology companies
) and Yahoo have been subjected to public ire and foreign
governments of various countries are now looking for
According to a Bloomberg report, the EU Justice Commissioner,
Viviane Reding is looking to enforce EU citizens' rights to sue
U.S. agencies that violate their privacy rights. The U.S.
government grants such rights to U.S. citizens even when they are
resident in the EU, but foreign citizens are not treated
The EU would also like to force significant constraints on
U.S. technology companies that could result in fines up to $135
million for data-protection violations. The only thing holding
them back is the intervention of the UK, which would like the
process to be gradual so as to minimize the impact on
The other thing that hit Facebook was the news that teens and
youngsters care about their privacy more than older people.
According to the results of a Harris Poll as reported in the USA
Today, 40% of survey takers aged 18 and above changed their
privacy settings in the last three months, while 53% changed them
in the last six months. People over 45 rarely made changes.
Although Facebook's Sandburg continues to defend her position
on teen usage, it's apparent that the Facebook platform with its
disregard for privacy (it even started displaying whether users
were on the web or mobile last week) is not what youngsters
More Good News for Yahoo
Yahoo shares continued to rise last week after its Board
authorized the repurchase of up to $5 billion of common stock.
This is not really much of a surprise considering the fact that
Yahoo had just $300 million remaining under the previous
Yahoo's core business is yet to pick up and one of the main
strategies adopted by management to boost earnings has been the
reduction of its share count. In fact, the company has spent over
$3 billion on share repurchases so far this year and the fourth
quarter will no doubt see additional repurchases.
However, Yahoo's cash balance is significantly lower than it
was in the prior year, so management is also going for some cash
infusion. Considering the low interest rates, it makes sense to
raise some debt, so that's exactly what Yahoo has decided to do.
The company will be pricing a billion dollars' worth of notes, of
which $200 million will be used for share repurchases and the
balance for general corporate purposes.
Investors Wanted More Out of Intel
Intel started its Investor Day presentation painting a very
rosy picture. The company said its chips would be found in every
area that demanded computational capabilities, including custom
applications (for instance Facebook's cold storage
Management had a more optimistic tone than analysts about both
the PC and data center markets, saying that PC revenues would
continue to stabilize while data center revenues would grow at a
CAGR of 15% through 2015. Strength in the data center will come
from private cloud, telecom and HPC segments. Competition is
expected to remain far behind, since ARM chips will increase
costs for the purchaser in the form of investments in middleware
One interesting thing was Intel's decision to open up its
foundry capacity to outsiders (most likely for making smartphone
chips), if it made monetary sense. Intel has to consider the
typically lower margins of the foundry business, as well as its
own idle capacity that if filled up, could improve its margins.
The other positive was with respect to its own tablet chip
volume, which is expected to quadruple next year.
But numbers count at the end of the day and this is where
Intel disappointed heavily. The company now expects 2014
revenues to be consistent with 2013 levels, well below analyst
expectations of a 1.4% increase. Shares slumped on Friday in
Last 6 Months
Other stories you may have missed
Apple Scores Win Over Samsung
) won $290 million as damages when a jury ruled in its favor and
called in an expert to calculate the amount. The week-long trial
was held to decide the amount of damages resulting from Samsung's
infringement of key Apple technology in 13 of its devices.
Samsung had already been held guilty of infringement in an
Microsoft's Xbox One Has a Good Day 1
) said it sold over a million pieces of its new game console in
less than 24 hours. The device, which is intended to "take over
the living room" was sold out at Amazon, as well as other
retailers like Gamestop, Best Buy and
). Microsoft looks set to take on Sony, which launched its
PlayStation 4 last week, also selling a million pieces on the
first day. The Xbox One launched in 13 markets.
Google Has Holiday Plans
: Google is opening six showrooms, which it is calling Winter
Wonderlabs to showcase products like Nexus 7 tablets, Chromebook
computers and Chromecast video-streaming devices. Google joins
Intel in these showrooming efforts and like Intel, Google too
will be using the stores for showcasing and selling the products
online. It is also showcasing products in 750 large-format Best
Google Announces Prepaid Debit Card
Pandora Reported A Solid Quarter
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