Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Day After Xmas

See: Xmas in July

Today's list of lies and in$ults:

Verizon says 2nd-quarter results hurt by strike

Yup. $till wa$n't enough to keep them from $helling out $5 billion for Yahoo.

"A delivery company has sued The Boston Globe, saying the newspaper violated a contract by allowing another firm to distribute papers in its territory."

Have they fixed the delivery problem yet?

McDonald’s promises to improve image of its offerings

I usually skip breakfast.

Consumer confidence remains positive

If you $ay $o. Be $eeing that all through the fall and into November.

‘Strike force’ to take aim at robocalls

Oh, let me check the tweets:

"Twitter, grappling with anemic growth, tries to bolster its advertising business" by Mike Isaac New York Times  July 27, 2016

SAN FRANCISCO — This week brought a stark reminder of what can happen to Internet businesses that are overtaken by rivals: Yahoo, an iconic Web company that lost out to Facebook and Google, agreed to sell its core internet operations to Verizon for a fraction of its peak value.

It’s a description that is also applicable to Twitter.

The social media company’s peers — Facebook, WhatsApp, and Messenger — are now the stars, growing rapidly and performing well. Snapchat, the disappearing photo startup, is loved by the cool kids. And LinkedIn, the strait-laced so-called professional network, was part of an enormous deal when Microsoft agreed to buy it last month for $26.2 billion. 

All of that is gone.

Not so for Twitter. For months, the San Francisco-based company has been grappling with worsening advertising growth and anemic audience growth. It risks losing out on top talent and deals to other bigger, stronger companies.

It's still an elite $ervice.

On Tuesday, Twitter’s ailing position among its peers was underscored once more when the company reported its worst quarterly revenue growth ever and only a slight increase in users for the second quarter. The company also signaled that its prospects were unlikely to improve in the short term. 

But the economy is growing and all that blah blah blah!!

Twitter posted revenue of $602 million for the quarter, up 20 percent from a year ago and below Wall Street estimates of $607 million. Its net loss narrowed to $107 million, or 15 cents a share. Twitter’s users grew 3 percent from a year ago, to 313 million.

Looking ahead, the company projected revenue of $590 million to $610 million for the current quarter, far below analyst estimates of $681 million.

Still, Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s chief executive, struck an upbeat note.

That's when I put the paper down.

“As CEO, I’ve seen a lot of the benefit of our focus and execution over the past year,” he said in a conference call with investors Tuesday.

At the heart of the problem is that the 10-year-old company is still struggling with how to make its product appealing to an audience on a larger scale. Part of the challenge has been direct comparisons to Facebook, which lures more than 1.65 billion monthly visitors to its site.

For a time, Twitter was able to sidestep concerns about its ability to add new users because of the strength of its advertising business; revenue was growing in the high double-digit figures.

That has changed. Over the last six months, Twitter has experienced slower growth in advertiser demand, spooking investors and causing its stock to plummet.

Twitter’s inability to attract new users caught up to it, analysts said, causing a stagnation in advertiser demand. As Twitter is less able to increase the size of its user base, advertisers are more likely to buy ads on Facebook, which has a huge global reach, or perhaps Snapchat, which caters largely to younger audiences.

To turn itself around, Twitter has bet on live streaming video. The company has struck agreements with the National Football League, Bloomberg, and the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, among others, to live stream events. Twitter will also try to sell more costly ads — namely video ads, which carry a much higher premium — to its existing advertiser base.

A stream of bulls** if you ask me.

“We’ve become a video-centric platform,” Adam Bain, Twitter’s chief operating officer, said in the company’s conference call Tuesday. “It is now the No. 1 ad format in terms of revenue on Twitter.”

The company is also working on bolstering what is called direct response advertising, which prompts users to take an action like downloading a mobile app or signing up for a newsletter. The effectiveness of those ads, Twitter said, is easier to measure, which could provide repeat business.

“We’re focused now on what matters most, and what we need to fix,” Dorsey said.

I get the feeling it isn't me.


What are you looking' at!?

"Apple’s revenue declines but it beats expectations" by Hayley Tsukayama Washington Post  July 27, 2016

That's goo... d?!?

WASHINGTON — Despite doubts about Apple’s iPhone business, the company scored a win Tuesday by surprising analysts with the smartphone’s continuing appeal.

Look at the $hifting goalpo$ts and arbitrary evaluation entailed in the $h** $hine, 'eh?

The tech giant reported $42.4 billion in revenue for its third quarter. While that is a drop of 14.6 percent from the same period last year — the second quarter in a row that Apple’s revenue has dropped — it beat analyst projections of $42.09 billion. The company reported a quarterly profit of $7.8 billion, down 27 percent from the same time last year.

That's with a B, yeah, for three months.

Concerns about iPhone sales dogged the company ahead of the earnings report as analysts worried about slumping sales of its flagship phone. But Apple beat expectations there as well, reporting sales of 40.4 million iPhones, which slightly beat projections of 40 million. Profit on the iPhone was also down, probably because the company’s latest model, the iPhone SE, is not aimed at the very top end of the smartphone market.

‘‘We are pleased to report third-quarter results that reflect stronger customer demand and business performance than we anticipated at the start of the quarter,’’ Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, said in a statement.

The real growth category for Apple was its services, which grew 19 percent year over year; Cook said on the earnings call that Apple expects this business alone to be the same size as a Fortune 100 company next year. That could explain why Apple is focusing so heavily on the services and content portion of its business. On Tuesday, Variety reported Apple has bought the exclusive rights to a series called ‘‘Carpool Karaoke,’’ based off the popular celebrity singalong segment on the ‘‘The Late Late Show with James Corden.’’

‘‘The industry is pressuring Apple to reveal the next big source of growth beyond the iPhone, but the reality is that this is extremely unlikely to come from a single new product,’’ said Geoff Blaber, vice president at the analysis firm CCS Insight. ‘‘Apple’s strength is its ecosystem, and services revenue growth is the biggest indicator of its long-term health.’’ 

Maybe it's been $aturated by inequality.

Apple said it expects revenue between $45.5 billion and $47.5 billion in its next quarter, slightly less than its guidance in the same period last year. Analysts say that Apple’s new iPhone this fall will come with a few incremental changes and that the firm will wait until 2017 to release a major upgrade to its smartphone.

Still, the earnings announcement was enough to keep its shares up in after-hours trading. Shares closed at $96.67 per share, then jumped as much as 7 percent.

That’s good news for Apple, particularly after its chief rival, Samsung, announced that its latest Galaxy S7 phones are selling so well that its profits should hit a two-year high.

The smartphone market has seen growth slow for several quarters. In fact, 2017 could be the first year that the five largest technology categories — smartphones, tablets, computers, televisions, and laptops — make up less than half of the industry’s revenue.


I picked up an Apple for breakfast and it was bruised.

"Police use of cellphone tracking devices raises questions" by Shawn Musgrave THE EYE  July 27, 2016

Boston police have used a controversial cellphone tracking technology 11 times over the past seven years without once a obtaining a search warrant, according to documents obtained through public records requests.

The tracker, which allows law enforcement agencies to pinpoint the location of a cell phone, are under legal challenge in a handful of states because police used them without warrants or hid their use from defendants.

How smart

Asked about the technology in a radio interview on WGBH in February, Boston Police Commissioner William B. Evans said that officers normally obtain warrants to deploy the portable device known as a cell-site simulator, except in urgent situations where people’s lives are at stake. There is no explicit law in Massachusetts requiring search warrants for this type of technology, but a judge could potentially throw out evidence obtained through a tracker if it was deemed to be illegally obtained.

“When we have information that we have to get off a cellphone, we normally apply for a search warrant,” Evans said.

But the department did not obtain warrants in any of the 11 instances in which it deployed the tracker since 2009, when it purchased one of the devices, according to information released by police over the past four months to The Eye, a publication of the New England Center for Investigative Reporting, and to the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts.

The department also used it another 11 times on behalf of outside agencies, but declined to identify them; city lawyers said those agencies may have sought warrants before asking the department for assistance.

Federal government.

A Boston police spokesman said on Tuesday that the 11 instances in which police used the tracker were emergencies, for which no warrant is needed, and that Evans’ statements in February did not contradict the latest information.

Cell-site simulators — often referred to as “StingRays” — force nearby cellphones to connect to them by mimicking mobile phone towers. The tracker registers the location for each phone, so police can pinpoint it or track its movements.

Speaking of StingRays....

Boston police have used the tracker three times to locate a missing person, twice on human trafficking cases, and another two times to investigate commercial robberies, according to the records. The remaining deployments were for investigations of a homicide, firearm possession, kidnapping, and to locate a fugitive....

I'm lost, but at least they know where I'm staying.


Analog Devices to buy Linear Technology for $14.8 billion

Mass. home prices set records in June

They are purposefully keeping inventory low because property values undergird the stocks and the whole economy.

Anheuser-Busch InBev Raises Offer for SABMiller

I don't drink and you can LogMeOut.


Facebook earnings beat expectations
SABMiller puts brakes on AB InBev takeover
Most stocks edge lower, despite Apple’s big gain 

I'm sorry, but this whole experience has gone to the birds and is nothing but a pile of $h** these days.

Downturn in sales isn’t just bad news for retailers