Syndicate content Business Insider
The latest news from Tech Insider
Updated: 12 hours 49 min ago

Three ways brands can benefit from adopting voice technology (AAPL, AMZN, GOOGL, MSFT)

14 hours 38 min ago
  • Voice assistants like Amazon's Alexa, Google's Assistant, Apple's Siri, and Microsoft's Cortana, are pegged to trigger a widespread transformation across the retail industry in the years to come.
  • The current interest in, and adoption of, voice assistants for commerce is being driven by recent technological breakthroughs, advantages of the tech over existing channels, and the development of voice apps.
  • As consumer demand for voice technology mounts, brands offering this functionality throughout the entire customer journey stand to gain in three key ways.

Not too long ago, if your friend had a smart speaker like Amazon’s Alexa or Google's Assistant in their living room, it seemed like a rare novelty. Within a matter of months, however, smart speakers have started becoming household staples — and they’re still only at a fraction of their growth potential.

One of the biggest drivers of adoption has been increased functionality. Smart speakers aren’t just changing the music and turning on the lights; they’re helping consumers find new products and make purchases — and they’re quickly becoming a preferred method of shopping.

In fact, nearly a quarter of consumers globally already prefer using a voice assistant over going to a company website or mobile app to shop. This share will jump to 40% by 2021, according to Capgemini.

Consumers are on board with the prompt, convenient nature of shopping with smart speakers — and brands who join them stand to reap massive rewards. The Voice in Retail Report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, highlights the value voice brings to the shopping funnel and how retailers can implement it throughout the customer journey.

Here are three ways brands can capture consumers with voice technology:

  • Driving product purchases: Voice assistants make spending faster and easier when consumers are unable to use their hands. The ability to make a purchase on any channel and the addition of personalized, intelligent elements to the shopping experience are simplifying the transition from product discovery to product purchase.
  • Heightening customer loyalty: Brands can leverage voice assistants in the post-purchase phase to track delivery status, automate part of the return process, interact with customer service, offer feedback, and collect consumer behavioral and transactional data.
  • Shifting consumers’ spending behaviors: Smart device ownership has a snowball effect, so as the smart device ecosystem reaches the mainstream, consumers will flock to connected cars, smart home devices and appliances, and connected virtual reality and augmented reality (VR/AR) headsets.

Want to Learn More?

Shoppers are interested in using voice assistants for every stage of the customer journey, from initial product search and discovery to post-purchase customer service and delivery status. And retailers that take advantage of consumers’ desire to leverage voice will be in a stronger position to heighten customer engagement, increase conversion times, drive sales, and boost operational efficiency.

The Voice in Retail Report from Business Insider Intelligence examines the trends driving the adoption of voice commerce, details the role of voice throughout the customer shopping journey, outlines how brands can benefit from implementing voice in their strategies, and explores what's ahead for the technology in retail.

Get the Voice in Retail Report



Join the conversation about this story »

Categories: English

AI 101: How learning computers are becoming smarter

16 hours 39 min ago

Many companies use the term artificial intelligence, or AI, as a way to generate excitement for their products and to present themselves as on the cutting edge of tech development.

But what exactly is artificial intelligence? What does it involve? And how will it help the development of future generations?

Find out the answers to these questions and more in AI 101, a brand new FREE report from  Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, that describes how AI works and looks at its present and potential future applications.

To get your copy of the FREE slide deck, simply click here.

Join the conversation about this story »

Categories: English

How 3PL providers can thrive in light of their changing relationship with retail partners

17 hours 39 min ago

This is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence,Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here. Current subscribers can read the report here.

Third-party logistics (3PL) providers have been the cornerstone of retail supply chains for decades. 3PL providers are defined by the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) as "a specialized company that handles the outsourcing of much or all of a company's logistics operations."

Today, the term has become nearly synonymous with any company in the logistics industry that operates planes, trucks, or warehouses. 

But the rapid growth of e-commerce has given rise to new services and business models, challenging the 3PL model. Traditional 3PL relationships are well suited to route orders from a factory to a distribution center to a brick-and-mortar store, but they're typically ill-equipped to bring parcels to customers' homes.

Historically, retail supply chains had a single destination: stores. And even the largest retailers only had a few thousand of them — Walmart operates 5,000 stores in the US and Puerto Rico, for instance — allowing retailers to rely on a handful of 3PL providers that had warehouses near their brick-and-mortar locations. 

But the rise of online shopping has turned that model upside down. Now, retailers must deliver their products directly to the homes of the more than 300 million consumers in the US — and increasingly within only a few days — a far greater challenge than delivering directly to stores.

Meeting this challenge requires a higher number of supply chain partners than before, meaning products often change hands several times before they arrive at a consumer's door. To effectively manage this complex new environment, some retailers are opting for one of two approaches to supply chain management: fourth-party logistics (4PL) providers or in-house supply chain management.

In Future Business Models in Logistics, Business Insider Intelligence details how the rise of e-commerce as a core consumer shopping channel has fundamentally transformed retail supply chains. We examine the primary two business models — 4PL and in-house supply chain management — and what's driving retailers to adopt these new models. Lastly, we offer recommendations for how legacy 3PL providers can adapt to meet the changing demands of retailers in the age of e-commerce.

The companies mentioned in this report are: Accenture, Deloitte, McKinsey, CH Robinson, Penske Logistics, UPS, DHL, XPO Logistics, JB Hunt, Kuehne and Nagel, Amazon, Alibaba, and

Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

  • Retailers' supply chains are being crunched: They must deliver a higher volume of goods to more locations than ever before, and must do so faster — a significantly greater challenge than delivering to brick-and-mortar stores.
  • Such complexities require more 3PL partners than ever, requiring a separate entity to coordinate and manage the relationship between all these partners. Two popular models have emerged: 4PL providers and in-house supply chain managers.
  • 4PL providers typically fall into one of two buckets: legacy 3PL providers that have transitioned into the 4PL space, and management consultancies that have long had supply chain management practices.
  • Both 4PL providers and in-house supply chain management teams need to get comfortable collaborating with longtime competitors if they are to thrive in the managed supply chain environment.
  • Legacy 3PL providers that transition into the 4PL space must carve out a separate business unit to house their 4PL business segments.

In full, the report:

  • Outlines several factors that legacy 3PL providers need to consider when deciding whether to transition into the 4PL space.
  • Details why not all 3PL providers need to reinvent the wheel and carve out their own 4PL arms to thrive in the age of managed retail supply chains.
  • Explains why legacy 3PL providers will be left behind if they don't learn to cooperate well with both 4PL providers and other 3PL providers.

Interested in getting the full report? Here are two ways to access it:

  1. Purchase & download the full report from our research store. >>Purchase & Download Now
  2. Subscribe to a Premium pass to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report and over 100 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you'll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally. >> Learn More Now

The choice is yours. But however you decide to acquire this report, you've given yourself a powerful advantage in your understanding of the fast-moving world of Transportation & Logistics.

Join the conversation about this story »

Categories: English

BlackBerry Messenger will soon be the latest messaging service to die

17 hours 53 min ago

  • BBM, formerly known as BlackBerry Messenger, will be shut down on May 31.
  • Emtek, the company that now runs the messaging service, tried to revive it, but said that "users have moved on."
  • BBM users will need to download their photos and files from the service before it shuts down, because they won't be able to access them afterward.
  • Visit for more stories.

First AIM. Then Yahoo Messenger. Now BBM.

The messaging service that was once was a beloved feature of BlackBerry phones is going away, becoming the lastest in a line of formerly popular chat apps to get the ax.

Emtek, the company that runs the former BlackBerry Messenger service, will shut it down on May 31, the firm announced in a blog post on Thursday. Despite investing in new features, Emtek wasn't able to jump start usage of the service, it said.

"Three years ago, we set out to reinvigorate BBM consumer service," the company said in the post.

"We poured our hearts into making this a reality, and we are proud of what we have built to date," it continued. "The technology industry however, is very fluid, and in spite of our substantial efforts, users have moved on to other platforms, while new users proved difficult to sign on."

After Emtek shuts down the service, BBM users will no longer be able to open the app to view old messages, photos, or other files, the company said on a page offering answers to frequently asked questions. Users will be able to download photos, videos, and files before May 31. But they won't be able to keep any stickers they've purchased or personalized emoji they may have created with the company's BBMoji service, it said. 

Last decade, when BlackBerry devices were among the most popular smartphones, BBM served a similar role for the devices as iMessage plays on iPhones today. It was the default messaging service for BlackBerry devices and, because it was only available on Blackberry handsets, it was one of the primary reasons customers stuck with them.

But usage of BBM started to be overtaken by iMessage and other services after the iPhone and Android-based devices took over the smartphone market. Smartphone messaging leaders now include not just iMessage, but Facebook-owned WhatsApp and Messenger, and WeChat.

Read this: Google is shutting down its Allo messaging app for good

To court users on other devices, BlackBerry later opened up BBM to owners of iPhones and Android phones. As recently as 2015, it said it had 140 million registered users on those non-BlackBerry devices. Emtek acquired the rights to BBM from BlackBerry in 2016.

BlackBerry held on to the enterprise version of BBM that it offers to corporate users. The enterprise BBM is still alive. 

Got a tip about a tech company? Contact this reporter via email at, message him on Twitter @troywolv, or send him a secure message through Signal at 415.515.5594. You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

SEE ALSO: One of the tech industry's leading critics says Apple and Google's new 'screen time' features will never work because they ignore the underlying problem

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: We tried the Samsung Galaxy S10 to find out if it's worth the $1,000

Categories: English

Meet the ex-Facebook advisor who pitched Richard Branson while kiteboarding (FB)

18 hours 15 min ago

  • Karl Jacob pitched his startup LoanSnap to Richard Bransonduring a kiteboarding trip and walked away with the billionaire's backing for its $8 million Series A in 2018.
  • Jacob was an early advisor to Facebook, and says his experience working in the early days of social networking reinforced his belief in taking bigger risks and bigger failures.
  • According to Jacob, founders and investors need to be more comfortable with failure and more patient with teams trying to unseat massive entrenched industries.
  • Visit for more stories.

Karl Jacob was riding high.

The former Facebook advisor had just started LoanSnap, an AI-powered platform for mortgage lending, and was kiteboarding in the summer of 2018 on Necker Island, one of the sport's premier locations owned by billionaire Richard Branson. Jacob was on the island for an entrepreneurs' retreat, courtesy of an invite passed along by a friend. When Jacob climbed out of the crystal clear waters for lunch, he noticed Branson off by himself.

"It's something I've learned if you see an opportunity like that you take it," Jacob tells Business Insider. "We started talking about our sessions and our tricks and jumps and he eventually asked what I did. When I told him I started a mortgage company, Richard turns to me and with a big smile and says, 'Interesting, I own four of those. We should talk.'"

Read More: Google's AI venture fund is leading a $3.85 million round into a startup that's trying to reinvent the industry for homeowners insurance

According to Jacob, kiteboarding has many parallels with starting a business. There are plenty of risks and anything can go wrong at any moment. People who succeed in both environments share many qualities: they are adventurous, open to risk, and comfortable with failure.

"It's a more natural way for people to meet," says Jacob. "My conversation with Richard started around the sport and ended around business, and our first impressions of each other were about the sport. You know this person is competitive and adventurous and overcame their fear, which is a big part of being a good entrepreneur."

Jacob explains that he is more prone to taking risks now than when he was younger. He emphasized the importance of having investors aligned with longer term goals and bigger risks, and pointed to Pinterest's public offering Thursday as evidence of those risks paying off.

"If you are going after a  big space with game changing idea, you better have patient investors that understand you will fail and you will fail a lot before you make it," Jacob says. "Pinterest is one of the best examples of that. It took [Pinterest cofounder and CEO] Ben [Silbermann] seven years to get Pinterest to work. People who have the discipline to fail and try again, they ultimately win."

In the weeks following Jacob's serendipitous kiteboarding trip, he closed LoanSnap's $8 million Series A led by True Ventures. Branson was among the company's backers.

SEE ALSO: Founders Fund made its first alcohol investment. Here’s how the 28-year old woman who founded the company is trying to change drinking culture for the better.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The US won't let Huawei, China's biggest smartphone maker, enter the US market

Categories: English

$9.2 billion Zoom's second most powerful shareholder thinks CEO Eric Yuan is like Steve Jobs, but nicer (ZM)

Fri, 04/19/2019 - 00:54

  • Zoom started trading publicly on Thursday after pricing its IPO at a $9.2 billion valuation.
  • The IPO was a boon for CEO Eric Yuan, who owns much of the company and holds nearly 20% of the voting power. The second most powerful investor is Emergence Capital Partners, a venture capital firm that once backed Salesforce and Box.
  • We spoke to Emergence partner Santi Subotovsky about what sparked his interest in Zoom, and why Yuan reminds him of Apple cofounder Steve Jobs — only a nicer version.
  • Visit for more stories.

When Zoom priced its IPO on Wednesday evening, the video conferencing platform garnered a valuation of $9.2 billion, and founding CEO Eric Yuan saw a huge windfall. Collectively, Yuan and his family now own 20.5% of the company's common stock, as well as 20.1% of its high-vote stock.

But another big winner was Emergence Capital Partners, a venture capital firm that invested in Salesforce, Box and Veeva before the companies went public.

Emergence's investment in Zoom's 2014 Series C was worth $1.1 billion with the IPO. Despite selling nearly 1 million shares in the IPO, Emergence still owns 12.7% of Zoom's high-vote stock.

Emergence General Partner Santi Subotovsky took a seat on Zoom's board, and he's been working closely with Yuan ever since.

In the hours after Zoom started trading, Subotovsky spoke to Business Insider about what first drew him to the company and why Yuan reminds him of Apple cofounder Steve Jobs — but nicer.

This interview was edited and condensed for clarity.

Becky Peterson: You're in New York right now? How did everything go today?

Santi Subotovsky: It was exciting. It was great to see a lot of the Zoom employees, even a lot of the early employees that were there back in 2014 when we first invested in the company. It was great to see a number of customers there celebrating with us. And it was also great to see a lot of investors celebrating.

It was like one of those big family reunions. We're just celebrating a milestone without thinking that this milestone is the ending.

Peterson: Have you taken a portfolio company public before?

Subotovsky: No, this was my first experience. Hopefully not the last one.

Peterson: You invested in Zoom back in 2014. How did you first meet Eric, and what drew you to the company?

Subotovsky: I had a pain point that other people didn't have, because I'm from Argentina and I wanted to connect with people in Argentina. So I tried every technology out there to figure out what was going to be the next communication platform.

Zoom not only worked incredibly well but it also started spreading virally, and I started getting invites from friends of friends. That's when I reached out to Eric and we started building a relationship.

I tried to understand why the technology worked so well, what his vision was, and then I got it. He was rebuilding the entire architecture for this modern cloud environment and that's what enabled him to deliver incredibly high quality to each of the participants. And that's why we decided to partner with him.

And he saw that given our experience with companies like Salesforce and Bosch, we could help with go to market, and going from the SMB business that he was targeting early on and into mid-market and enterprise.

Read more: Billion-dollar startup Zoom filed to go public — and shares of a totally unrelated company also called called Zoom shot up 1,100%

Peterson: How big was the company when you first invested?

Subotovsky: We invested when the company had about 30 people and had a few hundred thousand dollars in monthly recurring revenue.

Peterson: As an investor, were there any indications early on that Zoom would get as big as it did? It went public with a $9.2 billion valuation.

Subotovsky: We looked at the market and we saw that it was going through a major transformational change.

The way we thought about it was that in the early days people were building relationships exclusively in a face-to-face meeting setting. And then we tried to shortcut that process and started using email and phones, and those were technology crutches. It wasn't as good as face-to-face meetings.

What we saw is that people were spending a lot more time on Zoom, even though they could have had face-to-face meetings. So that's why this notion that video is the way people are going to communicate gave us the sense that this was going to be a big opportunity.

Peterson: Was there ever a point since your first investment when you thought the company might fail?

Subotovsky: It's a good question. We had hurdles along the way; it's never a straight line. But overall, the culture never failed. We never twisted the culture just to make things work or because the market wanted us to do this or the customer wanted to do that. We only stayed true to the culture.

It was a culture of care: care for employees, care for customers, care for investors, and care for partners.

Eric is an incredible leader. He's a visionary. It sounds like describing a version of Steve Jobs that is much nicer. He has that visionary focus of what people need and what's going to make people's lives better, but he actually cares about people, and that's why he's the nicer version of Steve Jobs.

Peterson: How did you and the rest of the board decide it was time for Zoom to go public this year?

Subotovsky: It was more about how can we get to more customers and how can we expand our footprint. It was a natural progression for the company.

We saw this as a milestone, a graduation. It's like a high school graduation. But now we're going to college and we're still going to work incredibly hard to graduate from college and move on.

Peterson: Recode reported on Wednesday that Zoom was previously approached by Microsoft, which wanted to buy the company. Did Zoom decide categorically not to sell or is it something the team considered?

Subotovsky: Eric wants to run a company and wants to have full control of the culture, and he wants to have full control of how employees and customers feel about the product.

Right now he he feels he's delivering happiness all around, and if that changes he might change his mind. But for now, he's obsessed with this culture of happiness, both internally facing and externally facing.

Right now I don't think that's in the cards fo Eric and the company. We just want to keep doing what we're doing.

Peterson: As an investor, what do you plan to do with your proceeds? What happens next for you?

Subotovsky: We haven't had that conversation. I personally hope to help Eric build the company as he continues working on it. For us at Emergence, it's not about taking the company public, it's helping founders build iconic companies. Even though this is a great company, we still have a lot to do and we're excited to go back to work after this week.

SEE ALSO: One of PagerDuty's earliest investors shares why he went big on the IT-management company before it reached $1.76 billion

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Aston Martin's new fully-electric Lagonda could be the future of SUVs

Categories: English

Atlassian stock dropped 8% a day after it reported earnings, but Wall Street has 'no fear' about its future (TEAM)

Fri, 04/19/2019 - 00:34

  • On Thursday, Atlassian's stock slid 8% after reporting a lower guidance for EPS next quarter than Wall Street expected on Wednesday.
  • Analysts say the drop in stock is due to the impact of Atlassian's price increases and operational costs, such as hiring.
  • Still, analysts are not worried, and they see long-term growth for Atlassian, especially in the IT industry.

A day after Atlassian reported earnings, its stock slid 8%, and analysts say it's because Atlassian is still feeling the after-effects of its price increase.

While Atlassian beat Wall Street's expectations on revenue and saw its revenue spike 38% from last year, its guidance for earnings per share next quarter was lower than Wall Street's expectations. The company forecast EPS of  $0.16, while Wall Street was expecting $0.19.

Analysts drilled Atlassian's leadership team about the low guidance during the earnings conference call as the stock slid. However, some analysts say this is just a "blip," and that as Atlassian matures, it's natural that Atlassian's performance will vary from quarter to quarter.

"We are encouraged by the measures the company is taking to scale inside large customers and gain footholds in IT and we feel that their ability to make the right strategic choices will shine in the long-term," Joel Fishbein, Jr., managing director at BTIG, wrote in his note.

"Last quarter was perfect"

Pat Walravens, director of technology research and senior analyst at JMP Securities, which does business with Atlassian, says there are three main reasons for the stock's drop: the impact of its pricing changes, increased operating expenses, and investors' lofty growth expectations.

Atlassian announced price increases in October and many of its customers stocked up to get ahead of the price hikes. As a result, Atlassian had a strong end of the year but it will sell less in the next two quarters, analysts say.

"Last quarter was perfect," Walravens told Business Insider. "Generally, Atlassian's products are really good, and really cheap, and that's their secret sauce. That being said, they do raise prices every couple of years...If you're a savvy customer, which most of Atlassian's customers are, you stock up."

Read more: Atlassian beats Wall Street's expectations yet again with 38% revenue growth, but the stock slips down over 9%

Analysts also say the low guidance is related to operations cost, such as product investments, increased hiring, and the AgileCraft acquisition. But for the most part, they're still optimistic about Atlassian.

"No company is bulletproof"

While Atlassian might incur high costs from hiring, it's a necessary step for a company to grow, Walravens says.

"Short term, that will hurt Atlassian stock price wise," Walravens said. "Longer term, you can't grow these businesses without adding employees, so the fact that they see lots of opportunity and they want to hire to address it is a positive."

In addition, analysts point to its recent moves in the IT operations space, with its acquisition of incident management company OpsGenie, as well as investing in Jira Desk, another IT product. This would position Atlassian to compete better against companies like ServiceNow.

On top of that, customers love Atlassian's products, says Richard Davis, managing director at Canaccord Genuity.

"Last week we spent 48 hours at Atlassian's customer conference and compared to other conferences, the interest, excitement and respect for Atlassian's products was easily in the top decile in terms of positivism," Davis wrote in his note.

With a combination of its growth in IT, customer loyalty, and its low-cost sales model, Davis says Atlassian will be in a "good place for several years to come."

"We have no fear that Atlassian's fundamental outlook has, or is about to, dim," Davis wrote in his note. "While no company is bulletproof, Atlassian comes about as close as any company we track."

That being said, Davis warns that this doesn't mean buying Atlassian stock poses no risks. If Atlassian raises its prices too much, competition could sneak in. But not all analysts have the same view -- back in February, Fishbein wrote that Atlassian could raise its prices with little to no customer complaints.

SEE ALSO: INTRODUCING: The 10 people transforming the way the technology industry does business

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Physicists have discovered that rotating black holes might serve as portals for hyperspace travel

Categories: English

Facebook may have broken the law by harvesting 1.5 million users' email contacts, experts say (FB)

Fri, 04/19/2019 - 00:14

  • Facebook harvested 1.5 million users' email contact data without their consent, Business Insider reported on Wednesday.
  • In doing so, Facebook might have violated US and EU laws, experts say.
  • The social network said it unintentionally collected the contacts and is now deleting them.
  • The company is already under investigation by the US Federal Trade Commission for potentially violating a consent decree.

Facebook harvested 1.5 million users' email contact data without their consent, and experts say that in doing so the company may have violated American and European Union laws.

On Wednesday, Business Insider revealed that the social network had since May 2016 been scraping some new users' email contact books after asking for their email passwords to "verify" their accounts. About 1.5 million users ultimately had their data taken without permission; Facebook said this was done "unintentionally" and it is now deleting the data.

Experts who spoke with Business Insider on Thursday said that they believed Facebook's actions had potentially violated multiple laws including a US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) consent decree; the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the European Union's data-privacy regulation; and while there would likely be a strong defense for Facebook, perhaps even the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), a US criminal statute involving computer fraud and abuse.

If their theories are accurate, and regulators ultimately decide to take action against Facebook over the issue, then it could further exacerbate the legal headaches plaguing the company, which has been battling scandals on multiple fronts for the past two years — from Cambridge Analytica's misappropriation of tens of millions of users' data to the social network's role spreading hate speech that fueled genocide in Myanmar.

A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment.

Facebook is already under investigation by the FTC

Since 2011, Facebook has been subject to a consent decree by the FTC after it settled charges that alleged it had misled users on privacy issues. The FTC is now investigating Facebook over its subsequent privacy practices, namely the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The FTC is inquiring whether the incident violated the 2011 consent decree and is reportedly close to negotiating a settlement with Facebook that may be in the billions of dollars.

Ashkan Soltani, the former chief technologist for the FTC, said he believed Facebook's actions with users' email contacts may itself have broken the terms of the consent decree if it was using the data. "In my opinion, Facebook's collection and use of users' address books would be another clear violation of the Consent decree and merit an investigation," he said.

"The FTC enforces unfair and deceptive trade practices. On its own, downloading and using users' address books under a deceptive pretext of 'security' would constitute a deceptive practice, even IF the company wasn't under order," he said, speaking in the abstract.

Dina Srinivasan, a Yale Law graduate who recently wrote a paper called "The Antitrust Case Against Facebook," said that the company's behavior was potentially illegal "on the grounds that Facebook was deceiving consumers when it came to their data and privacy. This can be a violation of 3 things. (1) Federal antitrust laws. (2) Unfair competition laws which every state has a version of. (3) The FTC consent decree."

That said, it's not yet clear whether the FTC will ultimately attempt to take any action against Facebook on this issue, and a spokesperson for the organization didn't respond to a request for comment.

"There are so many different potential violations at this point that I don't know that FTC will investigate this latest ... particularly because it's under a lot of pressure to act on the Cambridge Analytica [incident]," said Sally Hubbard, the director of enforcement strategy at the Open Markets Institute, a research and advocacy group that focuses on issues around corporate power.

She said that even if this did constitute a violation, it would be difficult to investigate. "Once there's a revised consent decree in place, it will be hard for the FTC to go back and investigate any misconduct that came before it (depending on the terms of the negotiated agreement settling the claims — it likely will resolve all liability for violations up to the date it's agreed to)."

The Silicon Valley firm could face trouble in Europe too

In May 2018, the European Union started enforcing GDPR, its tough new data-protection legislation. Facebook hasn't yet said if any of the affected users signed up in Europe after that date, but it seems extremely likely — in which case some believe Facebook may have fallen afoul of GDPR. 

"It is especially problematic because it was not just data of the user being verified that was ... processed, but the personal data of their contacts too," Michael Veale, a London-based data-protection researcher and Alan Turing institute fellow, said in an email.

"It might just have been 1.5m users that were directly affected, but considering the number of unique emails that were harvested and the network information linking them, the total number of individuals affected is likely in the hundreds of millions," he added.

He suggested there may have been multiple breaches of the law, including not informing users and processing people's data for advertising purposes without informing them. "This could be construed as a general security breach, as Facebook were not aware their system was effectively compromised," he said.

The Irish Data Protection Commission, which is responsible for regulating Facebook's data practices in the EU under GDPR, said it's now in contact with Facebook over the issue and is considering its next move.

"We are currently engaging with Facebook on this issue and once we receive further information we will decide what steps to take," Graham Doyle, the head of communications at the Irish Data Protection Commission, said.

The question of intent

Julian Sanchez, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, discussed the possibility that Facebook had potentially violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act — which would veer into criminal territory. 

"It's an offense under 18 USC 1030 to, among other things, intentionally exceed authorized access to a protected computer. A 'protected computer' is, for practical purposes, any computer connected to the Internet," he said. "So with respect to Facebook's access to users' e-mail contacts, the relevant questions are whether there's any viable argument that it was 'authorized,' which seems like a very hard sell when it's represented as being specifically for the purpose of authentication, and if not, whether the access in excess of authorization was intentional."

He added: "If we were talking about a rapidly-corrected coding mistake that had removed language about scraping the user's contacts, you'd have a plausible case for saying this was access in excess of authorization, but not intentional. But that becomes more difficult to buy the longer they were doing it."

Facebook said that the action was purely unintentional — that it previously notified users it would be accessing their contacts, but a change inadvertently stripped that warning out. Such an argument would be a defense under the CFAA.

"Can they plead incompetence? In principle, though boy is that embarrassing," Sanchez said. "You'd need to look through internal correspondence to see whether anyone noticed the issue and Facebook decided not to fix it."

Got a tip? Contact this reporter via encrypted messaging app Signal at +1 (650) 636-6268 using a non-work phone, email at, Telegram or WeChat at robaeprice, or Twitter DM at @robaeprice. (PR pitches by email only, please.) You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

Read more:

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: We tried the Samsung Galaxy S10 to find out if it's worth the $1,000

Categories: English

Video-conferencing company Zoom soared 81% in its first day of public trading — now its CEO and CFO are focusing on these 3 goals (ZM)

Fri, 04/19/2019 - 00:05

  • Zoom went public on Thursday, and shares soared 81% on its first day of trading.
  • Zoom now has three goals: obtaining more enterprise customers, expanding to international markets, and promoting its new Zoom Phone product.
  • Zoom CEO Eric Yuan and Kelly Steckelberg, the company's chief financial officer, talked with Business Insider about how Zoom's viral nature and a frugal company philosophy helped the $9.2 billion company become profitable.

When the video-conferencing company Zoom went public on Thursday, shares skyrocketed 81%. But for Zoom, this is just day one of this milestone, and tomorrow, employees are back to work.

"We've got to go back to work," Zoom founder and CEO Eric Yuan told Business Insider. "I'm going to fly back to California. We have to double down on our execution and do what we were doing before. We've got to keep doing that to make sure we keep our customers happy."

Before going public, Zoom raised $517.5 million from investors, pricing its shares at $36 to achieve a $9.2 billion valuation. Zoom is entering the public markets with profitability on its side — making Zoom stand out in a landscape where tech companies often have redline-filled balance sheets as they go public.

"It's been something we've been striving for for a long time," Kelly Steckelberg, Zoom's chief financial officer, told Business Insider. "It's an amazing milestone ... Given the market conditions and our readiness, we felt now was the right time to do that."

3 post-IPO goals

Now that Zoom has reached its initial-public-offering (IPO) milestone, it has three key goals: sell to more enterprises, expand international sales, and push its new product Zoom Phone, a cloud-based phone system. In January, Zoom hired a head of international sales, and it's been hiring new enterprise sales representatives as well.

As it aggressively hires more engineers and sales reps, Yuan said a company can't succeed or grow without a healthy culture. This is reflected on the employee ratings site Glassdoor, where Zoom has 4.8 stars out of 5 and is ranked the No. 2 place to work in 2019.

When hiring, Yuan said the company cares more about whether candidates can build on the company culture and if they are willing to learn than the universities or companies the they come from. After all, if a company culture is broken, it can quickly cause a company to rot.

Read more: Video conferencing company Zoom prices IPO at $36 per share, giving it a $9.2 billion valuation — 9 times its last private valuation

Meanwhile, Zoom faces its share of competitors: Google Hangouts, Microsoft's Skype, and even Yuan's former company Cisco WebEx. But Yuan said Zoom doesn't focus on competitors.

"We really spend the time talking with our customers," Yuan said. "We try to be the first vendor to address customers' problems and try to be the vendor to come up with a better solution. If we focus on competitors, it's not sustainable."

Zoom's secret to profitability

Throughout the IPO roadshow, Yuan joined all of his meetings via Zoom. Steckelberg traveled for the meetings, while Yuan called in from his office in San Jose, California. As a joke, Yuan would change his video background to different scenes, such as a beach in Hawaii. He said shareholders were impressed.

"For the first two minutes, they were surprised," Yuan said.  "They said, 'Wow I did not realize you can do that.' It's an awesome experience."

This also showed shareholders how Zoom grew so fast. Steckelberg said it's because it's viral in nature. If a host calls someone else via Zoom, the person on the other side has the potential to become a Zoom customer. Zoom does invest in sales and marketing, but it does it with "discipline."

"It has the opportunity to be shared by millions of people without having a sales team to do that," Steckelberg said.

What's more, Zoom has this philosophy: Employees should take a minute to think about how they're spending their own money and take two minutes to think about how they're spending the company's money. This frugal philosophy, Yuan and Steckelberg said, also helped make Zoom profitable.

"We're striving for how it helps people think about how people can be as efficient as possible," Steckelberg said. "We want them to be thoughtful about how they bring value to our customers."

That's because Yuan doesn't see venture-capital money as money. And every time managers or department heads want to spend money, they ask themselves if there's a workaround, why they're spending that money, and what they'll get as a result.

"I remind myself, the money from the investors is not money from our perspective," Yuan said. "That's trust. Every dollar is trust. Those investors trust us ... That's one reason that contributed to the profitability."

This, Yuan said, is an important aspect of Zoom's top company value: care.

"We care for our community, customer, company, teammates, and our ourselves," Yuan said. "Today, we added one more: shareholders."

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: A sleep expert explains what happens to your body and brain if you don't get enough sleep

Categories: English

Pinterest was one of the most-downloaded apps in the U.S. in the months leading up to its IPO (PINS)

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 22:55

Pinterest's IPO appears to have raised more than just money.

In the months leading up to Pinterest's trading debut on Thursday, the social media app saw a surge in users that propelled it to the top of the download charts.

Pinterest was one of the 20 most downloaded apps in the the U.S. in the first quarter of 2019, according to numbers from mobile data analyst Sensor Tower.

These first quarter results mark the end of Pinterest' yearlong hiatus from the list of most-downloaded non-game apps. The social platform's number of downloads flatlined in 2018, but it was able to recover in the beginning months of the 2019 fiscal year. Sensor Tower estimates Pinterest was installed by 32.5 million new users on iOS and Android devices around the world in the first quarter, a 16% increase from Pinterest's numbers in the beginning of the 2018 fiscal year.

Read more: Pinterest prices IPO at $19 per share, giving it a $10 billion valuation — lower than its $12.3 billion private valuation

Pinterest's growing audience mirrors other numbers the company has produced. According to its S-1 filings, Pinterest generated $755.9 million in revenue in 2018, up 60% from $472.9 million in 2017. Additionally, Pinterest cut down on its losses: it lost $63 million in 2018, down from $130 million the previous year.

In its first day of trading, Pinterest's shares opened 25% higher than where the company priced its IPO. The company started trading Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "PINS."

The company has been emphasizing to investors how it differentiates itself from Snap, a rival social platform whose valuation has shrunk drastically since it went public in 2017. Now, Pinterest and CEO Ben Silbermann are trying to position the company as a "visual discovery tool" instead of a social media platform.

SEE ALSO: Tennis star Serena Williams has launched a venture firm for investing in women, people of color, and young entrepreneurs

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: We tried the Samsung Galaxy S10 to find out if it's worth the $1,000

Categories: English

How to use and customize Google Assistant on your phone or Google Home

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 22:01

It's safe to say that we're in the midst of a smart assistant revolution. Since Apple first released its smart assistant, Siri, in spring 2011, competitors like Microsoft, Amazon, and Google have followed suit with their own virtual assistants.

While there are a set of standard skills that you can safely find in nearly any smart assistant — such as searching the internet or setting a timer — not all smart assistants are the same.

And recent additions to Google's assistant may just give it a competitive edge that other smart assistants lack.

What is Google Assistant?

The latest evolution of the smart assistant Google originally launched in 2012 with Google Now, Google Assistant is the tech company's AI-powered smart assistant.

In a playful nod to their search engine, Google markets Google Assistant as a user's "personal Google" — built to help them navigate their own busy lives the way Google might help them navigate a busy web.

Native to most Android phones, as well as Google Home devices, Google Assistant allows users to use both voice and text commands.

How to use Google Assistant
  • For users with an Android phone or a Google Home, all that's needed to summon Google Assistant is saying "OK Google" or "Hey Google" and the assistant will pop up at the bottom of your screen. Or for Pixel 2 or Pixel 3 users, simply squeezing the bottom of your phone will work as well.
  • As for non-Android users, it's as simple as downloading the Google Assistant app. From there, users can connect the assistant with their primary Google account to give it access to their calendar and important emails — like restaurant or flight reservations.

  • Thanks to its integration with Android devices and Google accounts, users can also use Google Assistant when away from their Google Home or even their phones. Google Assistant is compatible with Android Auto vehicles, wearables like Google's smartwatch and Pixel Buds, Nest security products and a variety of non-Google smart displays. These devices also all respond to the standard "OK Google" or "Hey Google" call.
What you can do with Google Assistant
  • Once Google Assistant is up and running, what exactly can you do with it? Similar to other smart assistants, you can program Google Assistant to give you news briefings (on-demand or at scheduled times), answer questions like "What's the weather like?" or "When does the sun set today?," and play music from Spotify, as well as YouTube Music. Users can also use Google Assistant to cast TV or movies to Chromecast TVs.

  • With its access to a user's Google calendar and emails, Google Assistant can also give the user a briefing on what their schedule for the day ahead looks like when asked "Hey Google, what's my day look like?"
  • Google Assistant is also equipped with some cutting edge skills that competitors like Amazon's Alexa have yet to replicate, including its built-in interpreter. By asking, "Hey Google, be my Spanish interpreter" Google Assistant can be used in real time to translate a conversation where both people are speaking a different language. For example, if ordering a paella in Spain, Google Assistant could translate both your request to Spanish as well as the server's reply to English.
  • Users can also use Google Assistant to help screen calls and avoid potential scam calls. When receiving a phone call users can choose to answer or reject the call, like usual, or they can choose to have Google Assistant pickup the call the screen it. Like listening to someone leave a voicemail, the user can listen to Google Assistant ask why the person is calling and based on the response — genuine or seemingly from a script — can choose to pick up the call or not.

  • Google is steadily rolling out a new feature for Google Assistant, called Duplex, that is unlike anything seen in other devices. First demonstrated at I/O in May 2018, Duplex allows Google Assistant to not only dial calls for the user — which Google Assistant and most other smart assistants can already do — but to actually speak on the call as well. In the demonstration, the team had Duplex successfully call and schedule a haircut. Because of the lifelike-ness of the AI's voice, as well as its use of natural pauses in speech, the hairdresser on the other end had no idea they were speaking to a machine.
How to optimize Google Assistant
  • To make sure you're getting the most out of your Google Assistant, try exploring the settings and toggling on and off extra options. For example, in the "My Day" briefing you can select if you'd like to hear the weather, the news, and or a traffic report. You can also select what kind of news you'd like to hear to stop Google from playing others.
  • And, as with any great assistant, part of utilizing Google Assistant is to let it take over tedious tasks to save you time. For example, instead of fumbling to take a selfie yourself simply ask "OK Google, take a selfie" and the assistant will open the camera for you and set a 3-second time for the perfect picture. Similarly, users can ask Google Assistant to turn on or off their phone's flashlight hands free.
  • Another unique feature to take advantage of with assistant on your smartphone is something called Lens. By clicking the lens icon within the Google Assistant app the assistant will launch the phone's camera and help users learn more about what they're seeing. For example, if the user points their camera at a plant or dog the assistant can pull up information on the species or breed.

Related coverage from How To Do Everything: Tech:

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: We tried the Samsung Galaxy S10 to find out if it's worth the $1,000

Categories: English

How to share a Google Doc and customize its sharing settings

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 21:44

  • Google Docs are a superlative platform for sharing work with colleagues or collaborating on a school project.
  • Once shared, a Google Doc can be accessed anytime and from anywhere a person has access to it.
  • Advanced Google Doc sharing options can limit how other people can alter and engage with the content, making sure the original author has control over the document.

Google Docs are some of the handiest tools on the Internet today, offering easy collaboration to people spread far and wide. Once it has been shared by its creator, a Google Doc can be worked on by multiple people simultaneously, allowing for real time additions, edits, and updates.

And as a Google Doc lives on a remote server, not on any one computer, it is safe from loss caused by a computer crash (or theft).

Sharing a Google Doc is as easy as a few clicks and entering email addresses, but make sure you take the time to use the advanced sharing settings if you want to set the document as read only, protecting it from unwanted edits, or even to restrict printing or downloads.

How to share a Google Doc — the basics

1. Go to Google's home page (while signed in) and click the box formed of nine little dots in the top right corner.

2. Scroll down through the apps, then click on the Google Docs app, which looks like a piece of blue paper with white lines. 

3. Create a document (usually blank) then type in its name in the top left corner, and add as much content as you like.

4. Click the blue button reading "Share" in the top right corner.

5. Type in the email addresses of people with whom you want to share the doc; note that they will auto populate if they are in your contacts list. 

6. Click the pencil icon beside each name if you want to change the way the user can engage with the doc ("Can edit," "Can comment," or just "Can view"). 

7. Click "Done."

How to share a Google Doc — advanced

If you want to limit how people will be able to engage with your Google doc, go through the steps above, but stop at step 5, then proceed as shown below.

1. Hit the word "Advanced" in the bottom right corner of the popup window.

2. At the bottom of the next window, consider preventing other people from being able to share the document with others. 

3. Consider limiting download, print, and even copy and paste options if you want to restrict the potential spread of the material.

4. Set your desired privacy options by clicking "Change" next to any address in the middle of the above window.

5. Finally proceed to enter other email addresses and stipulate each person's level of engagement.

Related coverage from How To Do Everything: Tech

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Watch Apple debut its own no-fee credit card

Categories: English

Tennis star Serena Williams has launched a venture firm for investing in women, people of color, and young entrepreneurs

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 21:25

  • Serena Williams, one of the top tennis players, has publicly launched a venture fund called Serena Ventures.
  • The venture-capital firm focuses on early-stage investments in companies led by women and people of color, and those that value "individual empowerment" and creativity.
  • Serena Ventures has already invested in more than 30 companies, including the Wing, MasterClass, and Brandless.
  • Visit for more stories.

The tennis superstar Serena Williams has found time to pick up a side gig — on top of winning championships and taking care of her adorable daughter, that is.

The tennis legend publicly shared on Wednesday the details of her investment firm, called Serena Ventures. The venture-capital firm has been quietly backing companies since 2014 and has invested in more than 30 companies already.

"I launched Serena Ventures with the mission of giving opportunities to founders across an array of industries," Williams said in her announcement on Instagram.

Serena Ventures was created to give opportunities to a diverse set of founders, the firm said, particularly women and people of color. Investments will go into early-stage companies that value "individual empowerment, creativity and opportunity," according to the company's website

Additionally, the investment firm will work to mentor young founders and emerging entrepreneurs.

Read more: How Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian and tennis superstar Serena Williams met and fell in love

The website for Serena Ventures lists Alison Rapaport as the vice president of the firm, and the only other employee besides Williams. Rapaport, a former asset manager at JPMorgan, will oversee the fund's portfolio and new investments.

Serena Ventures' investments span numerous industries, including food, health and wellness, e-commerce, and fashion. Its portfolio includes female-centric companies such as the coworking startup the Wing and the razor brand Billie; the customized organic baby food-delivery subscription service Little Spoon and meal-delivery services Daily Harvest and Gobble; the online-course provider MasterClass; the in-home connected fitness company Tonal; and the tampon subscription service LOLA.

SEE ALSO: It seems like Amazon and Google may finally be ending their streaming video feud

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: We tried the Samsung Galaxy S10 to find out if it's worth the $1,000

Categories: English

17 cool things Business Insider readers are buying on Amazon right now — some of which really surprised us

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 21:20

Insider Picks writes about products and services to help you navigate when shopping online. Insider Inc. receives a commission from our affiliate partners when you buy through our links, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.

Here at Insider Picks, we are constantly surprised and delighted by the stories and products our readers connect with. Our audience is discerning, passionate, smart, and always on the hunt for things that will make their lives better, more efficient, or more fun. 

We thought it would be fun to give you all a glimpse into the things that your fellow readers have been buying up on Amazon — from an affordable, electric razor to a cult-favorite face mask to phone chargers, lots of phone chargers.

Check out 17 items from Amazon our readers are buying right now:

SEE ALSO: The 32 best things we ever bought on Amazon for under $25

DON'T MISS: 21 game-changing products we swear by in our everyday lives

An extra-long lightning cable for charging phones

Anker Powerline Six-foot Lightning Cable, starting at $9.99

We've written quite a lot about this charging cable, with many from the Insider Picks team citing it as one of the best things we've ever bought. There's just something extremely freeing about not being tethered to a short cord while your phone is charging. 

An even more durable extra-long lightning cable for charging phones

Anker Powerline II Six-foot Lightning Cable, $14.99

team-favorite charging cable (mentioned above) gets an upgrade. The Powerline II can sustain more bends and support weights of 175 pounds or more — making it 40% more durable than its predecessor. Anker is pretty confident this charging cable is the only one you need and to prove it you'll get a lifetime warranty on your purchase. 

A clay mask that many swear has healed their acne

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay Mask, $10.95

Our readers became obsessed with this mask once our reporter, Mara Leighton, wrote her glowing review about how it helped clear up her skin. It's also been making its rounds on social media and across tons of beauty sites, so we're not too surprised that our readers love it. 

See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Categories: English

IBM is preparing to close its $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat, but Wall Street has 'real question marks' after its 'mediocre' quarter (IBM, RHT)

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 21:16

  • IBM missed Wall Street's revenue expectations when it announced earnings on Tuesday, but analysts are paying close attention to its upcoming acquisition of Red Hat, which will close later this year.
  • IBM saw declines in its cloud and cognitive-software unit, and analysts say this is a sign that IBM is struggling to compete in artificial intelligence, one of IBM's flagship offerings, against other cloud vendors.
  • IBM has been betting on Red Hat to improve its hybrid cloud, but analysts say Red Hat alone won't turn IBM around, and the company will have to do more work in both technical integrations and cultural adjustments.
  • Visit for more stories.

Analysts say that IBM delivered a "mediocre" quarter, but now all eyes are on its forthcoming $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat and whether IBM's big bet will pay off.

On Tuesday, IBM announced it generated $18.18 billion in revenue this past quarter, missing analysts' expectations of $18.51 billion. The following day, IBM's stock was down 4%.

IBM's multibillion-dollar acquisition got the company a lot of attention, but it hasn't resolved fundamental questions about its big-picture vision and strategy. 

"IBM today, they go to a hockey game wearing a football uniform," Marty Wolf, the founder and president of the mergers and acquisitions advisory firm Martinwolf, told Business Insider. "They're growing slower, their margins are less. Their business model is too complicated. They need to deconsolidate. Our belief is, they're looking like a rhino in a field of cheetahs."

As IBM prepares to close its Red Hat acquisition in the coming quarters, the company has the benefit of a "wait and see" attitude from investors, Katy Ring, a research director for IT services at the 451 Group, said.

Namely, IBM is betting on hybrid cloud, which allows companies to run their workloads both on the public cloud and on on-premise data centers. While Red Hat might be an important part of doubling down on this strategy, that alone won't help IBM secure the cloud business, analysts say.

"I think IBM has got to make hybrid cloud work as a strategy in order to remain technically relevant in the longer term," Ring said. "It understands large enterprise IT better than any other cloud provider, and so, could potentially emerge as a much stronger 21st century service provider by taking open source software to its big blue heart."

'Everything in the kitchen sink'

IBM said its cloud business grew 10% year-over-year, generating revenue of $19.5 billion. However, analysts say that when IBM reports cloud business, it can also lump in other aspects that are not necessarily cloud applications and cloud services but are related to cloud, such as consulting and hardware.

Read more: IBM stock sinks 3% after hours after missing Wall Street expectations on revenue

And the growth still lags the performance of other cloud providers: Microsoft Azure grew 76% from a year ago, and Amazon Web Services grew 45%.

"They have an 'everything in the kitchen sink' approach to cloud," Andrew Bartels, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester, told Business Insider. "They toss everything that might be related to cloud into that bucket. There's a lot of ambiguity and probably misdirection which is in their cloud numbers."

IBM's cloud and cognitive-software unit itself was down 2%, generating revenues of $5 billion, and analysts say this is because IBM is facing fierce competition from other cloud providers, even in artificial intelligence.

"I think this shows that companies like Microsoft and Google and Amazon are gaining more cognitive solution business," Maribel Lopez, the founder and principal analyst at Lopez Research, told Business Insider. "I think IBM needs to get ahead of that trend and make sure they don't lose that marketplace to the other big cloud providers." senior analyst Haris Anwar said IBM's turnaround strategy "remains very much a work in progress," as all its segments either declined or were flat.

"That was a little disappointing for investors," Anwar told Business Insider. "They were expecting they will see some clear improvements, but that's obviously not the case. They're still struggling to compete in this cloud-computing segment in which Amazon and Microsoft had a great run."

That being said, this lack of growth might not necessarily be specific to IBM, Bartels said. On the downside, it could be reflective of the market as a whole as other tech companies report earnings this month.

"It could well be that IBM is a harbinger of disappointing earnings to come of other vendors in the coming weeks," Bartels said.

And there's still some positives, John Roy, UBS's lead analyst, said. He expects cloud and cognitive services at IBM to grow, and the company will also benefit from getting rid of underperforming assets of the company that slow down the business.

"They are doing more work in artificial intelligence and hopefully I'll hear more about that," Roy said.

'Real question marks'

Analysts say the coming quarters will be crucial for IBM as it closes its acquisition of Red Hat. Analysts predict this will help IBM generate revenue.

Once the deal closes, IBM can focus on technical integrations and creating a product portfolio that includes Red Hat's offerings — not to mention that there will be a cultural adjustment.

Wolf said he has "real question marks" about this.

"Lots of people who work at Red Hat are not going to be that excited to work at IBM," Wolf said. "There's a combination thing. Red Hat looks like a small piece of IBM's business. Some of the reasons people like working at Red Hat is because it's not a big conglomerate."

However, analysts say, the question is whether the IBM salesforce can sell Red Hat and if IBM services can benefit from Red Hat being part of the company. It might take at least two quarters for that to happen.

Ring believes the market sentiment toward IBM is still positive, but the company will need to make "some bold moves."

"The Red Hat acquisition could be very good for IBM if it takes on board the open source culture that the business brings to IBM and its customers," Ring said. "It could be a disaster if IBM does not adapt its culture quickly enough to pull through this benefit for enterprise buyers."

SEE ALSO: The leader of one of Google's most important cloud businesses explains why it took her 14 years of convincing to join the company

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Elon Musk sent a $100K Tesla Roadster to space a year ago. It has now traveled farther than any other car in history.

Categories: English

THE FUTURE OF APPLE: The road ahead for the tech giant is services, not iPhones (AAPL)

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 21:02

Apple is at a tipping point.

The tech giant’s fiscal Q1 2019 represented the first time in more than a decade the company saw declines in both revenue and profit during a holiday season.

Apple’s peripheral segments — 'Services' and 'Wearables, Home, and Accessories' — were two bright spots for the company.

And Apple’s latest event marked a shift in the company’s approach, with a focus on news, games, videos, and other content.

Business Insider Intelligence has outlined the road ahead for the tech giant in The Future of Apple.

To get your copy of this exclusive report absolutely FREE, simply click here.

Join the conversation about this story »

Categories: English

How to create and customize a Google Form for polls and questionnaires

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 20:53

  • Google Forms can help simplify your workload by giving you fast access to the opinions of those who matter most.
  • They are also easy to use, edit, and create, and are highly customizable to fit your various needs.
  • Here are the steps you need to complete to get your Google Form up and running, plus how to handle them after you've gotten your responses back.
  • Visit for more stories.

For those with Google accounts, Google Forms provide a way to simplify their workload. And the potential of this tool is far-reaching for professionals.

You can use Google Forms to do things like: gauge your coworkers' (or employees') interest in a potential project, coordinate schedules for an upcoming meeting, RSVP for a company event, create an official channel to request time off, or get feedback on your work.

The key is recognizing the various opportunities to use them in real-time. And once you know where everything is, Google Forms are easy to use, customize, and edit. Here's how to start making a Google Form.

How to create a Google Form

1. Go to

2. Click the plus symbol under "start a new form" (or select a template).

3. If it's your first time making a form, you'll have the option to take a tour of the tool. Otherwise you can skip ahead to creating your form by giving it a title in the top header (you can also add a description below that).

4. Click the plus symbol on the vertical right-hand toolbar to add each question (you can also add things like images, videos, and additional sections from that tool bar). You'll need to select the question type (multiple choice is the default).

5. Depending on the question type you go with, you may also have to provide answers to accompany each point for respondents to choose from, and you may want to turn on the "required" option by clicking the toggle button at the bottom of each question section.

6. To change the appearance, select a form theme by clicking the painting-palette icon on toolbar at the top-right of your screen. That allows you to customize the following elements:

    • Header image
    • Theme color
    • Background color
    • Font style

7. Optional: Click settings (the gear-icon within that top toolbar) to further customize your form. Here are a few options included within the settings section:

    • Collect email addresses from those who will out your form.
    • Choose whether or not to give respondents the option to get a copy of their responses (or send it automatically).
    • Give people the option to edit their responses after submitting.
    • Add a progress bar.
    • Change the confirmation message.
    • Turn the form into a quiz (which would assign point-values to each question then auto-grade the answers).

8. Preview your form by clicking the eye icon in the toolbar at the top of your screen to make sure everything looks good and makes sense (this will open in a new window).

9. Click "send" at the top right of the screen; this will open a pop up where you fill out the following:

    • Email addresses
    • Subject line (if you don't like the form-title default)
    • Message (again, if you don't like the default option)
    • Form in email (you can have the message link out or include it within the email)

This is also when you would add collaborators, get the form link and HTML embed code, and share it via Twitter or Facebook.

10. Click "SEND."

You can delete or duplicate questions as needed by clicking the trash can or layered rectangle icon, located below each question. If necessary, you can always re-order the questions by clicking and dragging the rectangle of six dots located above each question.

You can set up email notifications for the form by toggling over to the "responses" tab at the top. That's also where you can opt to see the results within Google Sheets, download them as a CSV file, and turn off responses once you've collected enough data.

Related coverage from How To Do Everything: Tech:

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Watch Google's Stadia video-game-platform event in 5 minutes

Categories: English

Facebook updated a blog post and said the number of unencrypted Instagram user passwords was in the 'millions' not its previous estimate of 'tens of thousands' (FB)

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 19:59

  • Facebook has stored millions of Instagram users' passwords in an unencrypted format easily readable by its employees for years. 
  • The news came on Thursday by way of an update to an existing company blog post, which in March, announced that unencrypted passwords for hundreds of millions of Facebook and Facebook Lite users had been accessible on its internal servers.
  • At the time, the company also said the same issue affected "tens of thousands" of Instagram users.
  • On Thursday, that number was updated to "millions." 
  • Visit for more stories.

Facebook has stored millions of Instagram users' passwords in an unencrypted format easily readable by its employees for years, the latest in a series of high-profile security missteps committed by the Silicon Valley giant. 

The news came on Thursday by way of an update to an existing company blog post, which in March, announced that unencrypted passwords for hundreds of millions of Facebook and Facebook Lite users had been accessible on its internal servers. At the time, the company also said the same issue affected "tens of thousands" of Instagram users. 

On Thursday, that number was updated to "millions." 

Facebook said that since its previous post — on March 21 — it had discovered "additional logs of Instagram passwords being stored in a readable format," but that its "investigation has determined that these stored passwords were not internally abused or improperly accessed." 

The company said it would notify affected users. 

Back in March, Facebook said it discovered the vulnerability during a "routine security review" at the beginning of the year. The cybersecurity journalist Brian Krebs said the issue existed as far back as 2012. 

The incident adds to a long line of serious scandals and crises to wrack Facebook over the past two years — many of which have been security- or privacy-related. Just yesterday, Business Insider discovered that the tech giant had been harvesting the email contacts of 1.5 million new users without their knowledge or consent.

Read more: Facebook says it 'unintentionally uploaded' 1.5 million people's email contacts without their consent

SEE ALSO: An EU government data watchdog is 'engaging' with Facebook after it harvested 1.5 million users’ email contacts without consent

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: We tried the Samsung Galaxy S10 to find out if it's worth the $1,000

Categories: English

Look at how strong the magnets are inside Samsung's $2,000 Galaxy Fold

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 19:55

  • Samsung is getting ready to ship its first foldable smartphone, the $1,980 Galaxy Fold, on April 26.
  • Reviewers and critics are getting the Galaxy Fold in their hands for the first time this week.
  • Marques Brownlee on YouTube showcased one particularly interesting aspect of the Galaxy Fold: the strength of its internal magnet system.
  • Visit for more stories.

Samsung's nearly $2,000 smartphone, the Galaxy Fold, is getting ready to ship next week.

There's a lot to say about this phone — like how the screens on several Galaxy Fold review units have broken in less than two days of use.

Samsung is now saying there's a protective film on top of the display that you shouldn't remove, but some reviewers, like former Business Insider reporter Steve Kovach, say the protective layer on top of the Galaxy Fold's screen was intact and the phone still broke. For what it's worth, Business Insider's Galaxy Fold unit is still working perfectly fine, and we have not removed the protective layer on top of the screen. Samsung says it's investigating the broken review units.

Anyway, that massive caveat aside, the Galaxy Fold is actually pretty cool!

One of its neatest tricks is the magnet system inside the phone, which gives a satisfying snap when you open or close the clamshell phone. To understand it, it's really best to see it in action. All of the visuals here come courtesy of Marques Brownlee from the MKBHD YouTube channel, who filmed the magnets inside the Galaxy Fold with his 8K camera rig.

SEE ALSO: The $2,000 Galaxy Fold from Samsung is a massive risk for anyone who buys it

SEE ALSO: Marques Brownlee, 'the best technology reviewer on the planet,' talks about the past four years and his plans beyond YouTube

Marques Brownlee used magnetic viewing film to see the location of the magnets inside the Galaxy Fold. The phone has two large magnets on the left and right side, roughly two-thirds towards the bottom of the device.

The magnets keep the Galaxy Fold sealed shut when folded up. But the strength of the magnets can also pick up metal objects.

When closed, the Galaxy Fold is strong enough to pick up a bunch of washers.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Categories: English

15 tech gifts moms will actually love to get this Mother's Day

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 19:52

Insider Picks writes about products and services to help you navigate when shopping online. Insider Inc. receives a commission from our affiliate partners when you buy through our links, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.

The stereotype goes that moms are tech illiterate, but as tech goes more and more mainstream, that's not the case anymore. Any mom, tech savvy or no, can appreciate a good gadget that makes her life easier and happier.

Whether the mom in your life is a bookworm who loves to read, a fitness fanatic who enjoys a good workout, or a new mom who wants the best for her baby, we have a tech gift for her.

Read on to check out the best tech gifts for moms:

SEE ALSO: 21 unique and interesting Mother's Day gifts from Amazon Handmade

An alarm clock that uses light to wake her up gently

Moms work hard and they often have to wake up early. Just because she has to wake up before the sun rises that doesn't mean she has to awaken to the blaring of an obnoxious alarm clock.

Philips makes a lovely alarm clock that gradually lights up to mimic the sunrise and wake her up naturally. The light alarm clock also displays the time and has customizable sounds so she can wake up feeling rested and ready for the day. This clock is the top pick in our buying guide, so you can be sure she'll love it.

Philips Light Alarm Clock, available on Amazon, $104.99 (originally $139.99)

A fun grip for her phone

Tech products can look and feel generic until we put our stamp on them, and PopSocket grips are a great way to add personality to a boring phone or case. PopSockets has hundreds, if not thousands, of fun phone grips in all kinds of materials, colors, and patterns. No matter what your mom likes, you're sure to find a style that will match her taste and personality.

In addition to looking super cute, PopSocket grips make it easier to hold a large phone comfortably, give a better grip, and also double as a kickstand for watching video or sharing photos with others. These grips are among the best iPhone accessories I've tried.

Shop all PopSocket grips for $9 and up

A piece of smart jewelry

If your mom cares more about style than high-tech features, but she still wants a piece of tech to track her activity, she may love a piece of smart jewelry. Bellabeat makes our favorite smart jewelry hands down. Both the Leaf Urban and the Chakra are lovely pieces of smart jewelry that can be worn as pendants on a necklace or as a clip on clothing. If your mom prefers bracelets, the Leaf Urban can also be worn as a bracelet.

Both models track activity and sleep quality. Your mom can also use the app to keep tabs on how much water she drinks, her period, and her mindfulness minutes. The app even has a cool meditation feature to give your mom a few minutes of tranquility each day.

Bellabeat Leaf Urban and Leaf Chakra, available on Amazon, $108 to $130

See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Categories: English