News Fuse for October 25, 2013

Microsoft

Here are today's top 10 stories from Tech News Today for October 25, 2013:

  1. Microsoft earnings for its first fiscal quarter certainly must have cheered things up around Redmond. Revenue rose 16% over last year to $18.529 billion. Operating income rose 19% to $6.334 billion and earnings per share was up 17% to 62 cents a share. Microsoft introduced new reporting, dividing the company into Devices and Consumer which covers OEM Windows, retail software Xbox, Windows Phone and the like. And a Commercial division which covers Enterprise sales of Windows and Office along with cloud offerings like Azure. The Commercial division led the way in the increase although sales of Surface tablets and Xbox 360s bolstered the D&C division. Read more at arstechnica.com.

  2. Deutsche Telekom wants German communications companies to help shield local Internet traffic from foreign intelligence services. This proposal comes after Germany said it had evidence that Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone had been monitored. Internet experts say It would not work when Germans surf on websites hosted on servers abroad. Deutsche Telekom, which is 32% owned by the government, has received backing for its project for potentially giving customers more options. In August, the company launched a service dubbed "E-mail made in Germany" that encrypts email and sends traffic exclusively through its domestic servers. Read more at reuters.com.

  3. It's time to get paranoid! There's a new Firefox plugin from Mozilla called Lightbeam that gives you a visualization of which sites are tracking your browser history and how those sites are connected. The Lightbeam plugin is based on another Firefox add-on called Collusion. If you want to help out Mozilla, you can share your data with the Lightbeam database to help create a bigger picture of how different parts of the web are connected. Read more at thenextweb.com.

  4. Twitter announced it will offer 70 million shares of stock at $17 to $20 per share when it goes public. The initial public offering will raise between $1.2 billion and $1.6 billion. A price of $28 to $30 had been expected but with fewer shares, so the overall amount being raised remains about in line with what folks though. Twitter will now pack up its wagon and head out for its IPO road show where no doubt Dick Costolo will demonstrate Twitter in song and dance and possibly puppets. Read more at wired.com.

  5. Samsung posted record quarterly earnings yesterday thanks to a rebound in its semiconductor business that offset softening demand in the smartphone market. The company posted an operating profit of 10.2 trillion won ($9.6 billion) for the three-month period ended September, a 26 percent increase over the year-ago period and a 7 percent rise from the previous quarter, and recorded overall sales of 59.1 trillion won ($55.5 billion) for the quarter. Read more at cnet.com.

  6. Amazon posted its quarterly financials yesterday and reported a net quarterly loss of $41 million. However, sales were greater than $17 billion, which is a 24% improvement compared to last year at the same time. This sales figure was beyond analysts expectations, so despite the net loss, Amazon shares jumped 10% on the opening of trading this morning. Analysts from at least 15 brokerages have raised price targets on Amazon shares. Read more at reuters.com.

  7. Comcast and HBO have inched just a little closer to letting you get HBO without a cable subscription. Broadband Reports had a source and GigaOm dug up some marketing materials that offer Comcast subscribers 25 Mbps Internet, basic channels (mostly local), Comcast’s Streampix which is a Netflix-like service and HBO for $40 a month for the first year. After 12 months the price goes up to $70. Read more at engadget.com.

  8. AT&T reported third-quarter profit that exceeded analysts’ estimates.Earnings climbed to 66 cents a share, Analysts had projected 65 cents on average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Sales rose 2.2 percent to $32.2 billion, in line with the average estimate. Its fourth-generation LTE wireless network and its U-verse fiber-optic system are helping fuel growth, Chief Executive Officer Randall Stephenson said. The company added 363,000 contract wireless customers in the period, compared with 151,000 a year ago. Read more at bloomberg.com.

  9. PHP.net discovered Thursday that two of its servers had been compromised to host javascript malware that delivered the Tepfer trojan. The organization which maintains the PHP programming language used by many websites, has moved the site to a new set of servers. There is no evidence that any PHP code hosted on the site was compromised. The group was concerned that an SSL certificate might have been compromised so disabled HTTPS access to php.net until a new certificate is issued and installed. Read more at arstechnica.com.

  10. The Greater Manchester Police Department seized a 3D printer and printed components "suspected to be a 3D plastic magazine and trigger" for a gun. The parts are now undergoing forensic examination to determine whether the parts can make a working firearm. However, a Verge user by the name of Theobald02 saw the images of the seized printed parts and said they look like parts to upgrade the 3D printer the police seized. The Greater Manchester PD told the Verge that it will continue with its forensic testing. Read more at theverge.com.

For insight, analysis, and discussion of these topics and more, check out Tech News Today for October 25, 2013.