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How main US inventory indexes fared Thursday


Main indexes closed blended on Wall Road Thursday after one other uneven day of buying and selling

Main indexes closed blended on Wall Road Thursday after one other uneven day of buying and selling.

The S&P 500 closed barely greater after wobbling between positive factors and losses for a lot of the day. Though most shares within the S&P 500 fell, the benchmark index managed to rise thanks largely to positive factors in a number of large know-how corporations, like Microsoft.

The Dow Jones Industrial Common fell and the Nasdaq rose, whereas small-company shares misplaced floor. Costs for crude oil and different commodities fell broadly.

On Thursday:

The S&P 500 rose 5.53 factors, or 0.1 %, to 4,405.80.

The Dow Jones Industrial Common fell 66.57 factors, or 0.2%, to 34,894.12.

The Nasdaq rose 15.87 factors, or 0.1%, to 14,541.79.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller corporations fell 26.36 factors, or 1.2%, to 2,132.42.

For the week:

The S&P 500 is down 62.60 factors, or 1.4%.

The Dow is down 621.26 factors, or 1.7%.

The Nasdaq is down 281.11 factors, or 1.9%.

The Russell 2000 is down 90.69 factors, or 4.1%.

For the yr:

The S&P 500 is up 649.73 factors, or 17.3%.

The Dow is up 4,287.64 factors, or 14%.

The Nasdaq is up 1,653.51 factors, or 12.8%.

The Russell 2000 is up 157.57 factors, or 8%.


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Sony’s new $500 PlayStation 5 will launch Nov. 12


Sony stated Wednesday its upcoming PlayStation 5 online game console will value $500 and launch Nov. 12, organising a vacation battle with Microsoft’s X Field Sequence X over whose new console will likely be underneath individuals’s tree this yr

Sony’s upcoming PlayStation 5 online game console will value $500 and launch Nov. 12, the corporate stated Wednesday, organising a vacation battle with Microsoft’s Xbox Sequence X over whose new console will flip up underneath extra bushes this yr.

Online game followers have been chomping on the bit for the brand new consoles, and never simply because they have been caught inside since March. The roughly 7-year life cycle of a online game console has been nearing an finish. Each predecessor consoles, the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4, launched in 2013.

The brand new consoles promise sooner load occasions, souped up graphics and new video games. Sony’s console can also be dearer this time round; the PS4 launched for $400 in 2013.

Sony’s PS5 will are available two completely different fashions — a normal model with an Extremely HD Blu-ray disc drive for $500, and a digital-oriented model with no disk drive that prices $400. When you can nonetheless purchase video games on optical disks, it’s more and more frequent for players to obtain them in digital type as an alternative.

The U.S., Japan, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea will see the console on Nov. 12; all over the place else will get it every week later.

In a presentation Wednesday, Sony previewed video games together with “Spider-Man: Miles Morales,” which will likely be out there at launch, and a Harry Potter recreation, “Hogwarts Legacy,” which will likely be out in 2021. It gave a sneak peak of “Ultimate Fantasy XVI,” which will likely be unique to PlayStation, however didn’t specify when that recreation will launch.

Final week, Microsoft stated its Xbox Sequence X will value $500 and debut Nov. 10, simply forward of the vacations. A stripped down model, Xbox Sequence S, will value $300 and be out there on the identical time. Pre-orders start Sept. 22. New video video games at launch embrace “Murderer’s Creed Valhalla,” “Gears Techniques,” “Filth 5,” and “Watch Canine Legion.”

Nintendo, which makes one other widespread console, the Nintendo Change, will not have a brand new mannequin out till subsequent yr. However Fb might provide Microsoft and Sony some vacation competitors. It stated on Wednesday a brand new model of its wire-free digital actuality headset, the Oculus Quest 2, will begin transport October 13, simply in time for the vacations.


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Invoice Gates Sr., father of Microsoft co-founder, dies at 94


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SEATTLE — William H. Gates II, a lawyer and philanthropist finest referred to as the daddy of Microsoft co-founder Invoice Gates, has died at 94.

Gates died peacefully Monday at his seashore house in Washington state from Alzheimer’s illness, the household introduced Tuesday.

In an obituary the household credited the patriarch with a “deep dedication to social and financial fairness,” noting that he was liable for the Invoice & Melinda Gates Basis’s first efforts to enhance world well being in addition to his advocacy for progressive taxation, particularly unsuccessful efforts to cross a state earnings tax on the rich in Washington.

“My dad’s knowledge, generosity, empathy, and humility had an enormous affect on individuals around the globe,” Invoice Gates wrote in a tribute.

Born in 1925, Gates Sr. grew up in Bremerton, Washington, the place his mother and father owned a furnishings retailer. He joined the Military following his freshman yr on the College of Washington and was en path to Japan when it surrendered in 1945.

He served a yr in war-torn Tokyo earlier than returning to america and resuming his schooling, his household stated. After incomes his regulation diploma in 1950, he started working in personal apply and as a part-time Bremerton metropolis lawyer.

He shaped a Seattle regulation agency with two different companions that finally grew to become Preston Gates and Ellis — now referred to as Okay & L Gates, one of many world’s largest regulation companies. The agency was one of many first to work with the area’s expertise trade.

Gates Sr. met his first spouse, Mary Maxwell, on the College of Washington. That they had two daughters and a son — Gates Jr. — and remained married till her dying in 1994. Two years later he married Mimi Gardner, then the director of the Seattle Artwork Museum, with whom he spent the final quarter-century of his life.

“Once I was a child, he wasn’t prescriptive or domineering, and but he by no means let me coast alongside at issues I used to be good at, and he at all times pushed me to strive issues I hated or didn’t suppose I might do (swimming and soccer, for instance),” Gates Jr. wrote within the tribute. “And he modeled an incredible work ethic. He was one of many hardest-working and most revered legal professionals in Seattle, in addition to a serious civic chief in our area.”

That civic work included serving as a trustee of the Higher Seattle Chamber of Commerce, Deliberate Parenthood and United Means, and as a regent of the College of Washington, the place he led fundraising drives. He additionally served because the president of the state and native bar associations and within the management of the American Bar Affiliation, serving to create variety scholarships and selling authorized companies for the poor.

“Invoice Sr. was an individual who cared in regards to the plight of many, and he had the sources and unending civic dedication to do one thing about it,” Washington Gov. Jay Inslee stated in an announcement. “He made the selection to make use of his wealth and affect to advocate for and enhance fairness in our communities.”

Gates Sr. was a towering determine by fame and in individual — he stood 6-foot-7 (2 meters) tall — and his counsel was typically sought. Former Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz has stated that when he was struggling to lift the cash to purchase the six-store espresso chain in 1987, Gates Sr. stepped in to rescue him from a rival purchaser — not solely by investing, however by personally taking Schultz to go to the rival, demanding as he loomed over the rival’s desk: “You’re going to stand down and this child goes to appreciate his dream. Do you perceive me?”

Gates retired from regulation in 1998 and took on outstanding roles with the Gates Basis, serving to launch its work in world well being.

The household stated that attributable to restrictions associated to the COVID-19 pandemic, a memorial service can be held later.


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Amazon is big … really, really big; workforce hits 500K


Amazon says it now employs more than 500,000 people in the U.S., another sign of the online shopping giant’s rapid growth

Need more proof that Amazon is big? It came this week.

Amazon’s U.S. workforce has topped 500,000 for the first time, up 43% from the year before and more than triple what it was five years ago, the company said Friday. It gained 150,000 workers last year, more than the size of Apple’s entire workforce.

When it reported its quarterly performance Thursday , Amazon revealed that 150 million people were paying to be members of its Prime service, w hich offers faster shipping and other perks. On Friday, even while the Dow fell 600 points, Amazon shares soared passed $2,000 apiece, doubling in price in about two years.

Amazon’s growth comes with increased scrutiny. Some Democratic presidential candidates want to break it up. Others want it to pay more taxes. It is a regular target of President Donald Trump, who has been tweeting similar complaints as he fights with Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who also owns The Washington Post. Amazon has said it shouldn’t be broken up, and that it pays all the taxes it owes.

Being under the microscope has not slowed its phenomenal growth. Sales during the holiday season soared. Its other businesses, including cloud computing and advertising, grew, too, despite increased competition from other big tech companies.

Analysts at Benchmark said the results were a “not-so-subtle reminder Amazon is still king.”

After retreating from a proposed new headquarters location in New York City because of local opposition, it has ramped up hiring across the country, including New York City. Amazon said it has 30,000 workers in tech offices outside of its Seattle home, in cities such as Chicago, Denver and Austin, Texas. That group of workers is up 50% in the last year and a half, Amazon said.

It has also increased hiring at its warehouses and delivery centers, where orders are packed and shipped.

Worldwide, Amazon had 798,000 employees by the end of last year. Only one American company beats Amazon in the size of its workforce: retail rival Walmart, which employs 1.5 million in the U.S. and more than 2 million worldwide.

Walmart, however, took 35 years to build a workforce of similar size to Amazon today. Amazon reached the milestone in 24 years, more than a decade sooner.


This story was corrected to say Amazon has 30,000 workers in tech offices, not 30,000 tech offices.


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Massive Tech’s eco-pledges aren’t slowing its pursuit of Massive Oil


Worker activism and outdoors strain have pushed massive tech firms like Amazon, Microsoft and Google into promising to slash their carbon emissions. However there’s one other factor these tech giants aren’t slicing: Their rising enterprise ties to the oil and gasoline business.

When Microsoft held an all-staff assembly in September, an worker requested CEO Satya Nadella if it was moral for the corporate to be promoting its cloud computing companies to fossil gasoline firms, in response to two different Microsoft staff who described the trade on situation they not be named. Such partnerships, the employee instructed Nadella, have been accelerating the oil firms’ greenhouse gasoline emissions.

Microsoft and different tech giants have been competing with each other to strike profitable partnerships with ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, BP and different vitality companies, in lots of circumstances supplying them not simply with distant information storage but in addition synthetic intelligence instruments for pinpointing higher drilling spots or dashing up refinery manufacturing.

The oil and gasoline business is spending roughly $20 billion every year on cloud companies, which accounts for about 10% of the whole cloud market, in response to Vivek Chidambaram, a managing director of Accenture’s vitality consultancy. It isn’t but clear whether or not the extraction business is getting its cash’s value, though specialists stay bullish concerning the utility of superior expertise to grease and gasoline exploration.

Nadella sought to assuage worker issues on the September 12 assembly, first by reiterating Microsoft’s inside efforts on environmental sustainability, in response to the employees, who requested for anonymity as a result of they feared retaliation for talking about an inside assembly. The staff mentioned Nadella additionally defended Microsoft’s vitality companions, stating their investments in researching and creating extra sustainable vitality manufacturing strategies.

“There is not any fossil gasoline CEO who sits there and says, ‘You realize, I am simply gonna deny local weather change,'” Nadella mentioned, in response to the staff’ transcript of his remarks. “If something, they’re all saying, ‘Allow us to have, in actual fact, the regulation, the pricing mechanisms that get us to this future.'”

Microsoft mentioned in an emailed assertion Tuesday that it’s “centered on serving to firms of all types develop into extra environment friendly, together with vitality firms.” It declined to touch upon Nadella’s remarks, which have been a part of a recurrently scheduled “all-hands” gathering wherein the CEO welcomes questions on a spread of matters.

Lower than every week after that trade and days earlier than a deliberate worldwide protest over local weather change , Microsoft introduced one more main deal for its Azure cloud computing platform — this time with Chevron and oilfield companies big Schlumberger. The timing of the announcement forward of the local weather protest and United Nations local weather motion conferences angered some environmentally-minded Microsoft staff and caught the eye of outsiders.

“It’s unconscionable that amid international local weather protests, tech giants like Microsoft are asserting main partnerships with Massive Oil,” mentioned Democratic presidential candidate and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, in a tweet that coincided with the September 20 international local weather strike . “We should maintain them accountable, demand they break ties with the fossil gasoline business, and transfer quickly to sustainable vitality.”

Echoing that message was a small group of Microsoft staff who carried cardboard indicators to a lunchtime protest that day exterior of Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Washington. “No Azure For Oil,” mentioned one of many indicators.

After months of worker activism, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos mentioned he was pushing his firm to the forefront on sustainability, committing it to have 100% of its vitality use come from photo voltaic panels and different renewable vitality by 2030. However he additionally defended Amazon’s work with the oil and gasoline business , arguing that “we have to assist them as a substitute of vilify them.”

Some specialists say AI and cloud companies might truly play a job in curbing emissions.

Denying cloud computing companies to the oil and gasoline business would do little to handle the larger downside of the world’s ongoing dependence on fossil fuels, mentioned Aseem Prakash, director of the Heart for Environmental Politics on the College of Washington.

“We’d not wish to collapse the fossil gasoline business,” Prakash mentioned. “We’d desire a tender touchdown.”

If something, he mentioned, an oil firm’s shift to a different firm’s cloud platform could have some environmental advantages as a result of it’s extra environment friendly than working its digital operations by itself servers. Driving down prices might additionally assist open the door to investments in different, much less polluting strategies for producing vitality.

It is much less clear whether or not AI is mitigating air pollution or worsening it. Of their pitches to work with oil and gasoline firms, cloud suppliers resembling Amazon and Microsoft have boasted of superior machine-learning instruments that may sift by big troves of geologic and seismic information to assist make choices about the place to extract sources. IDC oil analyst Gaurav Verma mentioned AI is a important expertise for oil and gasoline firms that wish to study from that information to review oil reservoirs or predict when upkeep is required on a pipeline.

Earlier this 12 months, ExxonMobil struck a deal to faucet into Microsoft’s expertise to capitalize on the shale oil growth in Texas and New Mexico. Microsoft has mentioned that real-time information collected from a area spanning a whole bunch of miles would allow ExxonMobil “to make quicker and higher choices” on drilling and effectively completion and help manufacturing development by as a lot as 50,000 oil-equivalent barrels per day by 2025.

An unsigned assertion from Microsoft’s protesting staff mentioned they have been “made complicit” by the corporate’s position in warming the planet.

“Microsoft makes tens of millions of {dollars} in income by serving to fossil gasoline firms extract extra oil,” the assertion mentioned.

Nevertheless it’s not clear if tech giants are literally serving to that a lot — partly as a result of they could be overstating their very own position in remodeling Massive Oil with AI.

“The sundae they’re promoting is the cloud,” mentioned Chidambaram, the Accenture analyst. “The cherries they’re placing on it’s the analytics.”

Chidambaram mentioned that is as a result of oil industries are nonetheless cagey about sharing what they find out about underground reserves and don’t need third events analyzing that information.

Chidambaram mentioned in the long term, nonetheless, AI might truly assist meet local weather targets. For instance, machines that may seize higher information and shortly analyze it might additionally assist detect and cut back the leakage of methane from wells and pipelines, a major contributor to greenhouse gasoline emissions.

“Knowledge can be utilized in some ways,” he mentioned. “It is about the way it’s getting used.”


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Court rules startup may collect data from LinkedIn profiles


A federal appeals court has affirmed the right of a startup company to collect information from people’s public profiles on networking service LinkedIn.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco upheld a previous ruling Monday siding with hiQ Labs, a San Francisco company that analyzes workforce data scraped from profiles.

LinkedIn invoked a federal anti-hacking law in telling hiQ to stop. It also installed technical blocks to prevent hiQ from accessing otherwise publicly available information on LinkedIn users. A 2017 ruling ordered LinkedIn to stop blocking the startup. LinkedIn appealed.

LinkedIn, which is owned by Microsoft Corp., said it is disappointed in the decision and evaluating options for an appeal. HiQ did not immediately respond for a message for comment Monday.

Orin Kerr, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley called the ruling a “major decision for the open internet.”

“It doesn’t establish that scraping websites is completely legal, but it goes a long way toward establishing that it’s not a federal crime,” he said. The decision, he added, means that, while a hacker could be arrested for breaking into a website, a person “can’t be arrested and prosecuted just for visiting it.”


This story has been updated to correct that the appeals court is located in San Francisco, not Michigan.


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